Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Palmer Visitors Center, A Summer Visit.

You may remember my November visit to the Palmer, AK visitors center in November when it was about 15 degrees F. outside.  To see that post, go here.
Life-size replicas of the giant vegetables for which this area is renowned.

Hydrangea macrophylla is supposedly hardy to zone 4 but I know that the branches would be frozen to the ground each year.  I wonder if this is being used as an annual or if it's a special variety that will bloom on new wood.

Big splash of color!  This sure looks different when it's not frozen!

It was the first week of July and some things had just been put out.  The long days will cause all to quickly mature beautifully.

The "it" plant this year is even growing here.  Purchased at a local nursery, this Isoplexis, hardy to zone 8, will definitely be an annual here.
Old pal Astilboides tabularis is hardy here and this one looks considerably happier than the one in my garden!

Rosa glauca

Clematis erecta purpurea.  They must have cleverly supported theirs somehow.  I finally got rid of mine because it didn't retain it's purple foliage color and flopped all over everything.  Joy Creek Nursery has one that stays purple so perhaps I'll see if they have it for sale in the spring.

Warm border!

Lovely when full of plants, the structure of the beds in this area add winter interest when they're not covered in a few feet of snow.

Scarlett and purple/blue are always a winning combination.
 The rock gardens no longer look like graveyards!


Sedum  kamtschaticum

Lychnis chalcedonica
Fireweed is a great companion for Rosa glauca.  Here, they wouldn't bloom at the same time but the foliage of the rose is a nice foil for the magenta fireweed.
 One way to get height.

Another view of the explosion of color!

I've never seen the fir trees so full of cones.  Local wisdom says that this means that they'll have an especially cold or long winter.

 Speaking of height, wouldn't you love to have this view from your garden?  (Well, maybe not the truck.)
This is a great demonstration garden for visitors to experience and word has it that locals enjoy visiting as well!  Next time you're in Palmer, do stop by!


  1. So much color and beauty! I bet now in August it is even more lush. It's hard to believe it will all look like it does in your previous post, in just a few months' time. November isn't that far away.

    1. Yikes! November is way too close! Hoping for a warm autumn and winter!

  2. I couldn't remember the older post so I check it out. Holly Smoke! What a transformation. Recently I purchased the variety of Primrose I see in your picture and can only hope mine will bloom so lovely! Is it mount McKinley in the background?

    1. The mountain in the background is one of the many in either the Chugach or Talkeetna range which surround the valley. These are just little hills compared to Mount McKinley!

      There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
      And the rivers all run God knows where;
      There are lives that are erring and aimless,
      And deaths that just hang by a hair;
      There are hardships that nobody reckons;
      There are valleys unpeopled and still;
      There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
      And I want to go back—and I will.
      -Robert Service from "The Spell of the Yukon"

  3. I hope they keep their colder than normal winter up there!

    1. Amen sister! And no sharing of those arctic blast things that they like to send our way!

  4. Such a big difference then and now! My favourite of the lot are the rock gardens which are looking nice when you visited. Hopefully the wisdom of the prolific coning will only stay and remain there!

    1. Hopefully the wisdom is wrong and the trees just produced a lot of cones because of the early and warm spring they had!

  5. I remember seeing flower plantings blooming in Anchorage in late July. Wow! What a riot of color and luxurious growth.

    1. There's something extra exuberant about gardens in very cold winter areas.

  6. My my, those are hardy souls up there , and how fleeting their summer enjoyment.
    I'm a fan of this one myself:

    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    by the men who moil for gold
    the Arctic trails have their secret tales
    that would make your blood run cold.
    The Northern lights have seen queer sights
    but the queerest they ever did see
    was the night on the barge of Lake LeMarge
    I cremated Sam McGee...

    I could go on.

    1. That's a great one too! I've visited Sam McGee's Cabin. He wasn't there at the time, though. Maybe I should have called first.

  7. Oh my! lovely, lush color. Very beautiful. that view is so amazing but I'm afraid to say I'm such a wimp. I couldn't deal with their winters. New England winter is as bad as I want to deal with. I can't get over the cones on that fir tree. It that means a bad winter, they need to lay in some extra stores

  8. Oh boy, what a view! And love the fir tree laden with cones. And those cheerful colours are lovely.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.