Monday, May 26, 2008

Forget-Me-Not Nursery in Indian, Alaska

Forget Me Not Nursery in Indian, AlaskaI have this tradition that started four or five years ago where each spring my mom and I head south to look for some spring seedlings. We're like pilgrims making our annual trip to Plant-Mecca and spring wouldn't be spring without the trip to Indian and Forget-Me-Not Nursery.

Indian is a tiny town--maybe just a settlement, it's hard to tell--south of Anchorage along Cook Inlet. The drive down there is part of the prettiest, most scenic, drive in the entire world. I’ve seen pretty before and seriously, the stretch of road from Anchorage to Girdwood on a spring day is about as much beauty as you could expect in one place--just gorgeous. In fact, the trip is only partly about going to get some flowers, it's about enjoying the sunshine and the scenery and basking in the thought of the coming summer.

Cook Inlet, AlaskaBut Mom couldn’t go this year (ironically she can’t go to Indian because she’s in India—ha!) so I got the treat of my sister Melissa to keep me company and we made a morning of it, enjoying being out in the Alaskan spring sun and thinking of flowers and botanical possibilities.

As you leave Anchorage you follow the highway down along the edge of Cook Inlet and on a day like last Wednesday when the sun is out and the water of the inlet is resting in between the massive tides it couldn’t be prettier.

Beluga Point, AlaskaIf you look to your left up the blasted cliffs you will usually see Dahl sheep perched on the rocks above (they’re not goats, they’re sheep, though they’re often confused with goats because of their large curly horns) or plenty of waterfalls from the spring runoff. If you look to the right out at the Inlet you’ll sometimes see a pod of beluga whales feeding and spouting.

The twenty-minute drive always takes much longer when we stop along the way. Lillian had to look through the telescopes and check out the water falls and do a bit of climbing and I just wasn’t in any kind of a hurry for once.

Anchorage, AlaskaThe nursery itself isn’t huge but it’s the most beautiful nursery there is—the grounds are full of naturalized bulbs—tulips, daffodils, crocus—with perennials like Lady’s Mantel and delphiniums just starting to make an appearance. There are plenty of nurseries in town where you can get the flower bed basics: petunias, marigolds, pansies, snap dragons, but Forget Me Not has great perennials and the best hanging baskets around though their scented geraniums are really the thing. I’m not sure why it pleases me to smell a geranium masquerading as a lemon or a rose or a piece of chocolate but it does.

While Lillian explored the flowers outside, picking every dandelion she could find—she’s young enough to still think dandelions are the prettiest flowers there are—Melissa and I headed inside where she bought a flat of strawberry plants (excellent choice) and I picked up a few herbs.

Cook Inlet, AlaskaWith the big remodel we’ve got ready to start any day I haven’t felt like planting as much as I normally do. I’ll be moving a few flower beds and the place will be torn up for a while without places to put my hanging baskets and pots. I just haven’t felt like thinking about plants but suddenly the sun and the waterfalls and the sheep and being back at my favorite plant spot all worked together and I couldn’t resist buying just a few plants. Oregano, marjoram, thyme, some allysum—just a few little plants.

After all that winter we had to endure, days like that make it worth it.

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15 comments:

MRMacrum said...

In lands of extreme weather like Alaska and Maine, it seems that for every nasty turbine wind -20F day winter throws at us, a day like you describe is provided as a counter. Extremes in both directions.

Karen said...

Oh how I miss Turnagain arm and that beautiful drive. :) Thanks for the photos of "home"...missing it more every year.

Sarah said...

breathtaking photos...

Michaele said...

Sigh... you're reminding me why I miss Alaska so much. Should Uncle Sam decide he can let my husband retire, we hope to return to southern Alaska (I'm from Squarebanks), though it won't be for another four years or so. Alaska drives, Alaska scenery, Alaska nurseries...

The desert is VERY different.

Shannon said...

What a gorgeous roadtrip! The photos are stunning! Good luck with your plantings. . .

Daisy said...

Getting there is (more than) half the fun.

Marci said...

Oh,picking out plants for the garden is a lovely excursion.And herbs are a nice low maintanence venture. Happy gardening!

Alexandra said...

Yum! Those look so good!

My boys are Army Brats said...

I miss that drive so much!

We spent the first 6 years of our marriage stationed in Ft Wainwright, AK and made the drive to Seward too few times. I love Alaska and miss it so much. It's truly home to us!

Jen said...

I'm with you! A geranium smelling like anything OTHER than a geranium is a blessing with a "capital B". We don't have anything that fancy here in Maryland--at least not that I know of. I wish we did! Geraniums are NOT my favorite because of their smell!

Jennifer said...

I have never been more jealous of anything than I am of that amazing scenery you get to enjoy.

I am afraid I would be driving to that nursery all the time:)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

AMEN!

We're in a townhouse this year, versus our old house which had beautiful foundation planting beds and a huge vegetable garden. I'm glad to have a year off of the work. But dang! I miss my chance to dig in the dirt. I have a few container plants, but it was still really hard to only buy two or three things at the nursery this past weekend.

Killlashandra said...

Wow that last picture of the snow covered mountains really reminded me of Colorado. Over the holiday weekend southern Colorado got even more snow and the mountains look amazing in the background of all the rolling green hills. Although the water is really what makes your picture beautiful. :)

lapa37 said...

Beautiful pictures. I wish I could see Alaska in person. My husband is so lucky he is going there this weekend for work it's his 4th trip there. He brings me back something when he goes,not the same though.

Gerad @ Pamper Your Baby said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a blast. I absolutely love Alaska. I just went there on a weeklong cruise at the end of last year and it was soooo much fun. The scenery is absolutely beautiful. Nothing else I have seen comes close. I especially enjoyed kayaking on Glacier Bay and then taking the train back to the port. Great post and even better pictures. Can't wait to read some more of your posts.