Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Patrick Ryan. I have been gardening and playing music for over 50 years, and I was able to combine these two passions with a 21-year career as a first-grade teacher here in Anchorage, Alaska. And now I’ll sharing my experiences with you in the Musings from an Alaskan Gardener column.
As the Education Specialist for the Alaska Botanical Garden since 1999, I am lucky to walk daily into a forest that features various “garden rooms.” I ran our summer camp for 20 years and am tasked with doing talks, workshops, interviews, writing, etc.
Alaska Botanical Garden (ABG) consists of 110 acres (45 ha) of boreal forest with 8 acres (3 ha) of cultivated gardens and interconnected nature trails. The Garden houses over 1,100 varieties and over 150 distinct species of plants hardy to the region.
After years of research and preparation, ABG received national accreditation by the Plant Collections Network and the American Public Gardens Association for its Meconopsis Collection. To earn and maintain accreditation through the Plant Collections Network requires meeting industry standards in collections management: having the tools, resources, curiosity, and knowledge to record, report, and act in good stewardship. We have identified 20 target species that we believe we can successfully cultivate, of which we currently hold 14.
Go to www.alaskabg.org and look under the Horticulture tab to see what’s in bloom, more on Meconopsis (including cultivation tips), and explore our entire collection.
I am honored to be invited to share my musings with the Laidback Gardener family. I look forward to promoting gardening tips and tales of life in the Great North!
Patrick R. Ryan
Alaska Botanical Garden
4601 Campbell Airstrip Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507