If I ever gave any thought to what grows in Alaska, I would have said spruce trees, lichen and moss.

reindeer moss

tree lichen

spruce trees

It’s dark and cold and what could grow in such a short summer?  Well, how wrong!

The summer may be short but what a summer it is.  With the nearly constant daylight, plants grow quickly and lushly.  Even in the fall the twilight lingers on clear days extending the daytime by a good two hours.  I visited Alaska in September and even though winter would arrive before the end of the month, I found glorious growth from all the seasons.

Delphiniums of spring, dahlias of summer.




pink log cabin flowers

yellow poppy

Berries and golden leaves of fall and spruce of winter.


aspen berries

paper birch



snow trees

And cabbages, lots of beautiful cabbage. Green, blue and purple.

cabbages and pansies

cabbage drops

Cabbage garden

The cold weather veggies do very well; swiss chard, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and cabbage.  Did I mention cabbage?  Big cabbages.  The size of basketballs.  Lovely.




Tomatoes, not really.  They will grow, but you really need a greenhouse to extend the growing season.

yes we have no tomatos

But there are other fruits, mostly berries.  Blueberries, cranberries, salmonberries, many I don’t know.

Black bear berries

white berries

red bear berries.2

Grizzly food.  It amazes me that these tiny berries are a main food source for the huge grizzly bears.


The bears that live near salmon streams eat the fish, but the others are omnivores, eating berries and roots and whatever else they can find.

Every place I went I found lush growth.  Snow won’t be my memory of Alaska, gardens will.


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