Marion Owen Alaska

The day I was hugged by a fern

Alaska’s 2015-2016 winter was the second warmest on record, dating back to 1925. And here on Kodiak Island it’s been one of the rainiest. So when the clouds parted a few days ago, I took my camera for a walk along an ocean bluff, edged with spruce trees, in search of spring wildflowers and fresh greenery.

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Sowing Wisdom: Luther Burbank, intuition and dealing with surprises

I’ve written a weekly garden column for the Kodiak Daily Mirror for over 15 years. This article first appeared on April 11, 2016…

Last Friday it rained, hard. Inside the gym though, it was bright and sunny, thanks to neon shirt day when everyone was encouraged to wear

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Not a gardener? These 12 New Year’s resolutions are meant for you, too.

If you’re like me, you need a goal—even a tiny one—or you might end up like a lost duck, waddling along the lake shore, but never getting into the water. Today I’m sharing a dozen resolutions, mostly slanted for gardeners. But if you’ve never used a trowel,

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The journey began in 2005 with a Christmas gift…

As I sipped my coffee, a large BC Ferry made its way through the narrow, granite-lined channel in front of the bed and breakfast we were staying in on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. It was October 11, a soft, overcast day; the day before Canada’s Thanksgiving. Our hosts who lived upstairs, had loaded the fridge with

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When you don’t need words

I was photographing at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC recently, bedazzled by the amazing display of dahlias. I was having a lot of fun composing the sea anemone-like shapes, textures and

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My garden, my teacher.

My humblest inspirations seem to occur in the autumn when I’m putting the garden to bed.
It’s fall and the garden says, “I am growing old.” The potato vines are limp and the tubers huddle underground in their rough, weather-proof skins, waiting to be dug. Is there any greater treasure hunt than digging for

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First Rhubarb: My excuse to dream up a new recipe

In coastal Alaska, it’s traditional to celebrate the season’s First Salmon, usually around May 15. Well, we live in coastal Alaska (and love salmon), but we celebrate another  “first”: The First Rhubarb.

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Green eggs and waffles: A recipe my grandmother would avoid

On a rainy Sunday morning, I had a waffle epiphany: If I can add kale to smoothies, why not add it to our favorite oat-bean waffle batter? After all, kale is king these days,

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Is your lawn organic? (Think barefoot kids and wild salmon)

Don’t you just love wriggling your toes on green grass? Me, too. Until one summer day in the park. Picture this: Several boys playing frisbee in the park. Barefoot. The kids were having fun. But yikes! They were romping on grass treated with chemicals.

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