Gardens and Trails Entry Beds
A bright welcome to the Alaska Botanical Garden, this bed features a mix of perennials, annuals, and edible plants. By mixing a variety of plants, this demonstrates how to acheive maximum benefits and enjoyment from a single bed or small garden.
Gate and Plaza
This shady area features many interesting varieties of Primula spp., a flowering crabapple tree, rhododendrons, and a very early bloomer Anemone tryanssilvanica
Marked by its rustic wattle fence edging, this trail hosts many examples of common Alaskan wildflowers, berries, and other native plants. The fence was built by Eagle Scouts, the trail and plantings are maintained by volunteers in the Wildflower Garden Club.
Lower Perennial Garden
Designed by Wendy Anderson, this garden was created to demonstrate perennials hardy to Southcentral Alaska. These include geum, blue poppy, peony, hosta, monk’s hood, phlox, giant catmint, roses and more. Rockcress begins blooming in April, followed by peonies in May. Blossoms of purple aster can be seen into October.
Optimal conditions here allow 350+ species of specialized alpine plants to thrive, including specimens from Alaska, Scandinavia, China, and the Himalayas. This garden is a labor of love constructed and maintained by volunteers in the Alaska Rock Garden Society. Native stone, reclaimed stone, tufa rock from a deposit in British Columbia, and hand made troughs display these hardy plants.
This hardy perennial garden is named in honor of Lile Bernard Rasmuson, an early Anchorage gardener. Lile’s children endowed the garden for their mother “who would have been delighted with this garden as a place to grow, show and learn.” Design concept by Carol R. Johnson is reminiscent of Athabascan bead work when viewed from above. Design and planting selections were completed by Elise Huggins of Earthscape and Ayse Gilbert, a historic garden expert. Fruit trees, a collection of Primulas, and Gold Medal winning peonies are featured here.
Anchorage Heritage Garden
Celebrating Anchorage’s Centennial in 2015, this garden is reminiscent of the early homesteaders’ gardens. Welcome to a home-grown produce store! Ayse Gilbert created the design through historic research and selected old varieties of plants that would have been grown at the beginning of the last century. Vegetables, annuals, and perennials infuse this garden. Numerous plants were donated by multi-generational gardening Alaskan families.
Forest Health Trail
A rustic side trail that circles around the back of the Heritage Garden and Lile’s Garden. There are 14 points of interest about forest health. Research traps which are used to monitor insect populations are seen on the trail. The guide is located at the trail entrance in front of the old truck in the Heritage Garden
Junior Master Gardener’s Plot
Every summer children learn about the natural world in our Junior Master Gardener’s Camp. Our own Patrick Ryan brings the National JMG program from Texas A&M to life, literally! This space is where children experience hands-on activities in botany, horticulture and ecology.
The main loop is just under 1/2 mile and is fully paved The Forest Health Trail and the Lowenfels-Hoersting Family Nature Trail are maintained forest trails. There are insect monitoring stations at the entrance to the Forest Health Trail. Placed by the USFS and USDA for monitoring. Please do not disturb this project.
The Garden is testing a mix of grass for use as an event space. It has been sourrounded by lush plantings of ferns and hostas that are perennial in this location.
Designed by Cathy Sage and Land Design North, the Herb Garden is a haven of botanical delights. It showcases a variety of annual and perennial medicinal and culinary herbs, some native to Alaska. This garden celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016. It is maintained by volunteers from the Herb Study Group.
Help us preserve all of the Garden for others to see and ani-
mals to use. Please do not pick, tear, walk in garden beds, or otherwise damage plants.
Moose and bear come to the Garden too!
Lowenfels-Hoersting Family Nature Trail
This 1.1 mile natural boreal forest trail winds down to Campbell Creek where salmon spawn. Views of the Chugach Mountain Range are seen mid-trail. There are two sets of stairs on the trail. This trail is on ABG property, but it does exit the fenced area. Be aware of wildlife on both sides of the fence. Volunteers from the Alaska Native Plant Society help remove invasive weeds from this trail.
For more information: 907-770-3692
Please do not take food on the trails. Please pack out all trash. Please remain on paths.
Alaska Botanical Garden
Please report all bear and moose sightings to ABG staff, or call the ABG office: 907-770-3692 In case of injury or fire, call 911
w w w. a l a s k a b g . o r g
Main Trail Points of Interest 1. Glacial Erratic
An ancient glacier depositied this large boulder in the garden as it melted. Notice moss, lichens, and a small tree sprouting from the stone. To protect the vegetation, please do not climb on the boulder.
2. Two-Headed Spruce
Moose damaged the top of this spruce when they ate the bark. IN response, the tree sends growth hormones to the two side shoots on the tree, and each shoot became a new leader. This is what occurs when plants are ‘pinched’. Can you find another such tree in the Garden?
3. Changing Forest
This section of trail was created when the main path was paved. It allows us a peek into the interior of the forest. Notice the lower branches on the spruce trees, which previously received very little light through the canopy. Now opened up to more light, the plants and trees in this area are changing.
4. Forest Health Trail
This rustic side trail offers 14 points of interest about forest health. See the separate Forest Health Trail brochure created by the Master Gardeners located at the trail head near the Heritage Garden.
5. Shade vs. Sun on Native flora
Observe how the amount of light affects growth patterns of natural vegetation. In a dense spruce forest where light is minimal, ferns, club mosses, dwarf dogwood and high bush cranberry predominate. In areas with more light, different grasses and alder become opportunisitc and thrive.
6. Military Uses
This area and nearby Campbell Airstrip were used as military training grounds during World War II. As a result, foxholes dot the garden. The main garden trails were created from abondoned jeep and tank paths.
7. Fungi on Birch Stump
This old birch stump is like a hotel for fungi, mosses, and lichens. Important elements in the web of life in forest ecosystems, these fungi act as decomposers. They release nutrients back into the environment that help plants grow.
10. Boreal Forest
Plants in Alaska must deal with long, cold winters and short summers. The number of species here is less than in temperate or tropical zones, but the plants adapted to the Boreal Forest zone are very hardy. The primary trees are birch, spruce, cottonwood and some aspen. Most have shallow root systems to take advantage of the top level of unfrozen soil. Birch is the first major tree species to return after a fire, spruce bark beetle kill, or land clearing. The dense canopy of leaves greatly dimishishes the amount of light transmitted below.
11. Bent Birch Tree
Worldwide, indigenous people intentionally shaped trees to create landmarks and provide direction along hunting trails. Some of the bent birch trees visible in the Garden may have been “loop trees” used as trail markers by Dena’ina people. One unique characteristic of a trail marker tree is a horizontal bend several feet off the ground which makes it visible at greater distances, and in deep snow.
Gardens, Trails, and Points of Interest
12. Hypertufa Troughs
The troughs were created to display varous alpine plants and dwarf conifers. “Hypertufa” is a handmade substitute for natural tufa which is a slowly precipitated porous limestone rock. Both Tufa and Hypertufa offer good drainage and are favorable for plant growth. Hypertufa is usually made of perlite or vermiculite and portland cement. Generously donated and maintained by the Alaska Rock Garden Society. Your purchases at our Shop-In-The-Garden support educational programs, garden maintenance, and horticultural research. Thank you!
Share your experience with us: alaskabotanicalgarden @AlaskaBG #alaskagrows
For a current list of our events:
8. Girdled Birch Tree
The Garden is open daylight hours all year! www.alaskabg.org
There are several birch trees throughout the garden which show evidence of having their bark stripped by humans for basket making or other art. Damaging, stripping, or digging up plants is not permitted in the Garden! Such stripping, along with construction damage can affect the flow of nutrients and may lead to the death of the tree.
907-770-3692 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road
9. Bear Marking
Bears mark their territory in different ways, one of which is clawing and rubbing on trees. This spruce tree was scratched by a brown bear. Can you tell where its claws marked the tree?
Please recycle this brochure by placing it back in the holder when you are finished with it!
Anchorage, Alaska 99507