Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Fairbanks, Alaska

Gardening in the land of the midnight sun

purple and white Delphinium flowers

My name is Fran, and I live in Massachusetts. I have submitted my home garden before, but today I’m sharing photos for GPOD on the Road. My husband and I were very fortunate to travel this past summer and visit at least seven different gardens. We traveled to Florida, Alaska, and Vancouver, and places in between. Butchart Gardens, Longwood Gardens, and others in New York City and Florida were beautiful, detailed, and inspiring, but the garden that spoke to us was the Botanical Garden at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The garden’s mission is to educate and to research and develop flowers, shrubs, grains, fruits, and vegetables that are adapted to the unique climate of the Land of the Midnight Sun. Here are photos of the garden’s beautiful plantings.

tall blue Delphinium flowersFairbanks sits at the edge of Zones 1 and 2. That is COLD, but these beautiful flowers are proof that you can have an incredible garden anywhere; it is just a matter of choosing the right plants for your space. These delphiniums (Delphinium elatum) thrive in Alaska’s long, cool summer days to make an over-the-top flower display.

purple and white Delphinium flowersDelphiniums hate hot summer weather and are a perfect choice for northern gardens.

plant with bright red-orange flowersGoing by the common names of Maltese cross or scarlet lychnis, this Silene chalcedonica gives a brilliant display of blooms in summer. Most references list it as hardy in Zones 3–9, but clearly it is thriving here in Fairbanks.

a large head of green cabbageThe extremely long day length in the summer combined with cool temperatures provide conditions to grow some of the biggest, happiest cabbages in the world.

a garden bed with a mix of pink, purple, and red flowersAsiatic lilies (Lilium hybrid) and pink yarrow (Achillea milliflorum) blooming their heads off

yellow sunflower bloomAnnuals like this sunflower (Helianthus annuus) work great in a cold climate because they don’t attempt to survive the winter; they just set seeds and move on!

plant seed heads in the gardenClematis are usually grown for their showy flowers, but the silky seed heads can be just as beautiful and longer lasting in the garden.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 03/16/2022

    Beautiful flowers! Beautiful photos! Love the sunflower!

  2. deeinde 03/16/2022

    Thanks for sharing! I would love to go there someday!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/16/2022

    So very pretty

  4. User avater
    simplesue 03/16/2022

    This are some nice this sturdy delphiniums, the cooler weather must be perfect for them!
    Very inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing info about the Botanical Garden at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks...I had no idea they existed until now!

  5. User avater
    cynthia2020 03/16/2022

    Hi, Fran. I enjoyed looking at all of your photos and reading your text!

  6. btucker9675 03/16/2022

    Stunning - what marvelous travels you had! This garden is amazing - those delphiniums...

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest