A visit to a thriving botanical wonderland showcasing a fantastic diversity of stunning native plant species doesn’t come to mind as part of any possible travel itinerary in the cold reaches of Alaska, right? It’s just not something you’d expect to see in our 49th state but the amazing folks at the Alaska Botanical Garden want to introduce you to another facet of the Land of the Midnight Sun. Experience the glorious abundance of the sub-arctic summer growing season and learn all about native southcentral Alaskan flora as you explore this lovingly-tended oasis tucked neatly into 110-acres of pristine boreal forest.
You’ll encounter an unexpected array of beautifully-planned gardens connected by trails flush with wildflowers and ferns, all featuring varieties of plants that not only survive but thrive in this magnificent northern land challenged by a truly “unique” set of growing conditions. Here, from late spring through early fall, visitors enjoy wonderful presentations of flowering plants and shrubs including hardy fruit trees, peonies, delphiniums, poppies, hostas, roses, specialized alpine species and culinary and medicinal herbs.
The Lowenfels Family Nature Trail and Forest Health Trail offer perfect opportunities for easy day hikes, (be on the lookout for area wildlife!). A new and exciting Anchorage Heritage Garden was added in time for the Centennial celebration in 2015, and produce harvested from the exhibit “An Alaskan Kitchen Garden,” is donated to the FoodBank of Alaska and Bean’s Cafe to promote “Plant a Row for the Hungry.”