Ideas to make effective use of small spaces in Alaska
HOMER: A pot for all climates. Lavatera trimestris 'Mont Blanc' spreads its cloud of white flowers above purple Swan River daisies, bluish marguerites, hot pink dianthus), and pansies in this pot designed by Teena Garay.
Silvery Helichrysum petiolare tumbles over the edge. Garay fertilizes the pot twice a month with a liquid solution of 5-10-15 and clips spent blooms frequently.
WILLOW: Color on high. Baskets of tuberous begonias hang all around the porch at Katherine and Stuart Bigler's home.
To prevent cold soil from stunting growth, Stuart warms their frigid well water to 70 degrees. He plants the begonia tubers in rich potting mix, applies 20-20-20 liquid plant food every two weeks, and waters plants daily during the growing season.
ANCHORAGE: Blooming bed & vegetable trellis. As ornamental as it is useful, this cedar trellis rises from a raised bed in Mel Monsen's vegetable garden. It's 6 feet tall and 8 feet long; both end posts are topped with finials.
The horizontal pieces at the top are 2-by-4s; the inside grid is made of 1-by-4s. Sweet peas tretch up the grid; 'Snow Crystals' alyssum, dusty miller, and campanula grow at the trellis's feet. A pea gravel mulch holds in moisture, reflects heat, and eliminates mud when plants are watered.