Jeff Lowenfels’ Alaska Garden


Teaming with Microbes author Jeff Lowenfels was kind enough to invite me over and show me how Alaskans garden when I was there last weekend. Here’s it is:

Well, okay, that’s not actually his garden.  That’s the edge of his garden, and the view from his garden.  These Alaskans–they know about views.

Here’s his garden:


And here:


Okay, okay, it’s not all wild. But the wilderness sure is lovely, isn’t it?

Here are a few more civilized images:  Jeff growing pumpkins under floating row covers, with a heated seedling mat to keep them warm; his tomato greenhouse (and yes, Jeff’s a walking billboard for Plant a Row for the Hungry); his clover and dandelion-riddled lawn, along with a photo he insisted I take of the lawn just after he’d picked out a bunch of dandelions; and a couple of flower beds.  You should be able to click to enlarge.

Jeff collage

And now the real secret to surviving as a gardener in Alaska:  A two-story conservatory attached to the house.  You enter it from the living room downstairs, climb up a spiral staircase, and upstairs you can walk right into a comfortable sitting room at the top of the stairs.  Jeff’s office is inside the conservatory as well, so he can be near his plants.  (Some of which, by the way, are growing freakishly well thanks to cool GlowPanel grow lights.  Look at all the flowers on that pepper!  I want one! Or twelve!)

Jeff collage 2

Jeff would want me to tell you that there’s usually a lot more growing in his conservatory, but it is, of course, the middle of summer, so the plants are spread about the house and garden at the moment.

Well, that’s your tour of Alaska gardens!  Amazing what people do up there.  Thanks, Jeff, for the invite.


  1. I live in a zone 3 – 4 and have always wondered about gardeners to the north. Thank you for showcasing a garden that has many challenges due to harsh weather. Lovely ferns nestled into the gardens.

  2. The woodland meadow with bench? Totally melted my heart. Fabulous.

    How could anyone think it not civilized? It’s the height of good landscape design. Focal point, contrasting textures-colors, change thru the season, simplicity, timeless, low maintenance, organic.

    Plus, sustainable & pollinator habitat.

    CIVILIZED, yes……..

    McMansions with their ‘Landscapes’ are the wilderness.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  3. Wow, spectacular! I’d put up having to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse in exchange for that setting!

  4. You sure know how to get around to all the best places in the world. It is beautiful. I am glad that it is summer so, we can see it.

  5. Actually, Jeff gardens in Anchorage, which is about Zone 5, depending on exactly where in town he is. They do get strong winds from the Chugach Mts., but otherwise, it’s pretty benign.

    I garden in Zone 2 (northern-most garden in the US, literally), although I’d guess there are a fair number of folks in the interior who are in Zone 1.

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