Posted by: Michelle Mitton | 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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