Homer, AK

These beds warm up quickly in spring, and even bloom fast

Jim McCausland

Because summer high temperatures average only 68° in this part of Alaska, Gabriela Husmann and Konrad Schaad needed beds that would warm up quickly in spring and get flowers off to a faster start than in flat ground.

They made 2-foot-tall beds with large rocks that soak up heat during the day and radiate it into the soil at night. The upper bed is mostly for perennials, including red-and-white columbines, purple blue campanulas, and tall blue delphiniums fronted by yellow and orange Iceland poppies. The lower bed holds mostly annuals, including yellow and orange nemesias, and pink godetias.