Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ketchikan gardening

If you're not a big fan of gardening in the rain (there's been more than one occasion when I have been digging in my garden whilst wearing full rain gear), yet you would like a pretty little yard full of plants, I have one word for you: perennials. They may not be as showy as a bed full of petunias, and they're not completely maintenance-free (for a garden that requires no upkeep whatsoever, I suggest plastic flowers - the silk ones just melt). But those dogged perennials will keep coming back with a minimum of fuss, and in our gloomy climate you need shade-loving perennials. Voila! An Encyclopedia of Shade Perennials, by W. George Schmid has just hit our shelves. This book doesn't just list a bunch of plants, it explains how to garden in the shade. Schmid discusses the different types of shade, soil enrichment and common pests, and how to decide which types of shade plants you need. He also describes the various genus in some detail, with helpful advice about their ease of cultivation and hints for landscaping. This is a must-have book in Ketchikan.
Another must-have book is Gardening in Southeast Alaska, which was produced by the members of the Juneau Garden Club. We have had this book on the shelf for years, and if you garden in Ketchikan you have probably looked at it. The third edition of this Southeast gardening bible was just released, and we have a couple of copies if you would like to page through them for valuable Inside Passage-specific advice.

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