Sunday, October 18, 2015

Glacier Gardens - Juneau Alaska

On our cruise to Alaska we stopped in Juneau Alaska where we visited Glacier Gardens.  It's 50 acres of rain forest gardens that has their one-of-a-kind flower towers.  

Here is their story on the Flower Towers
During the land rehabilitation process, Mr. Bowhay was developing the lower landscaped gardens using a large piece of rented equipment to arrange the masses of soil, roots, plants, trees, and rocks dragged down the mountain from the 1984 landslide.  It was in the last few hours of equipment rental that the brand new excavator became damaged while Steve was negotiating a large boulder into place.  This boulder is now known as “Steve’s Rock” and is the centerpiece of one of the many waterfalls flowing through Glacier Gardens.  Full of frustration about the large repair bill he was sure to see, he used the equipment arm to pick up a large tree by the root ball. He swung the excavator arm and slammed the inverted tree into the ground trunk first.  The tree did not splinter and break, but instead stuck into the soft mud upside-down. Steve’s temper subsided as he sat in the machine and watched as the roots hung from the root-ball like the vines on a petunia basket. It only took moments before Steve had a vision of how to recycle the trees cleared from the development of the property: the design is called the the Upside-Down “Flower Tower.” Each “Flower Tower” is made by inverting a spruce or hemlock tree with the root ball pointing towards the sky.  The tree is placed trunk first into the ground and buried 5-7 ft. Fish netting is placed inside the top of the root ball to collect soils, and mosses are laid down over the netting to provide nutrients and water base. Each year, Mr. Bowhay personally pants each Flower Tower with roughly 75 – 100 flowering plants for each guest’s enjoyment.

We boarded a tram and took an exciting ride up to 580 feet to see the view of Juneau

In the visitors center they have the largest hanging baskets of petunias that I have ever seen.

The even have some begonias.


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