Opinion

Over the past eight months, Star reporter Kirsten Swann has indeed been the star of our newsroom, so it’s with mixed feelings we announce her departure from the Star staff. While we’re sad to see her go, we can’t wait so see how far she takes her next opportunity.

There are several opinions on cleaning up your yard for fall or leaving the dying debris for the benefit nature providing a place for wildlife to hide and winter over. As we put our gardens to bed, we will look at both sides of the discussion and hopefully gleam the best from both trains of thought.

It’s bulb planting time in Alaska

Some call bulbs the complete plant. I like that description and when realized that these plants can survive through the miracle of adaptation to many different environments and especially ours I want to know more.

To the editor,

It is berry picking time in Alaska and the race is on to forage for your favorites and add to those special recipes of jams, jellies, pies, muffins, etc.

If you grow your own berries in your yard, they are ready now to pick. In sunny locations you may have been picking them for a while. Whether you pick them for your breakfast, or freeze for later use when you are not so busy, berries are delicious and worth the wait and space in your yard.

Concerned with the decrease of pollinators and amphibians, The National Garden Clubs reached out to their regions in a special two-year, (2017-19) presidential campaign called “Service in Action.” This project focuses on increasing awareness of the seriousness of the demise of pollinators and amphibians, in an attempt to encourage conservation and protection of these garden partners. We are asked to consider how, “the first bio indicators, amphibians and pollinators, by their presence, abundance or lack of, reveal the health of the surrounding ecosystems.”

Author’s note: This was my report to the Pacific Region Garden Clubs, (the eight western states) concerning Alaska’s Community Gardens of which I am a Chair. I choose to share this information and I hope that you are encouraged by it:

How wonderful it is to see the excitement for gardening and “growing your own.” In Alaska we are seeing an increased interest in the growing of vegetables, herbs and fruits within our communities, cities and in the Bush.

The Lilies are blooming and they are gorgeous! Asiatic hybrids, (Lilium) are hardy Zones 3-10, and easy to grow. Native to Asia, mature plants can reach 1-6 feet and have long glossy leaves. These beauties come in many bold colors. Unlike Oriental Lilies, they have no fragrance. These plants are low maintenance, a perennial, and suffer from few diseases. A definite must have for the Alaskan gardener.

BIRD VETCH (Vicia cracca)

There is nothing more exasperating to a gardener than to see their plants being devoured by bugs. Just yesterday, tiny Thrips were all over my long awaited white Peony blooms and my disdain for these little creeps came out.

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