About Marion

Hi there.

Thanks for being curious.

All the feathers in my cap, some more ruffled than others, are gathered from my experiences in the trenches: Working aboard research ships, a photography instructor through the University of Alaska, weekly garden columnist, a chef on dinner cruises. I’ve dealt with sexual abuse and a rather dysfunctional childhood (does anyone have a perfect childhood?).

marion owen, Kodiak, Alaska

How do I love plants? Let me count the ways…

I’d get comments like:

  • “Marion, how about publishing a coffee table book of your photos?”
  • “If you ever publish a cookbook, I’d love a copy.”
  • “I want to take better pictures. Are you teaching photography classes?”
  • “I’ve been reading your garden column for years. Ever think of writing a book?”

It was all lovely to hear, but…

I knew there wasn’t enough of me to go around. So, I created this blog AND in 2014, I created my first custom wall calendar.

It’s an annual ritual, a blessing of sorts.

Each year represents a snapshot of goodness I’ve come across at one point or ‘nother: A new recipe, a better way to garden, a quote that stopped me in my tracks, a new way to photograph the world around me…

Living on Kodiak Island

Yes, I work, relax, and love life on Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the U.S. My husband, Marty, and I host wildlife viewing tours aboard our 42-foot yacht, the Sea Breeze. And we also operate an oceanfront B&B we appropriately named the Cliff House B&B.

I’ve worked on research ships, created photographs that hang in The Smithsonian and given up cheese and meat. I enjoy watching bumblebees and snowflakes. And somewhere along the line, I co-authored Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul which spent three happy months on the New York Times bestseller list.

Learning how to rest

These days, I’m learning how to rest and to not do too much; and what it means to be authentic, to embrace joy, and to not burn the oatmeal.

I write and photograph about challenges I’m facing and overcoming, what works for me; and knowledge I take for granted. You know, the little stuff that can make a big difference.

Meanwhile, the coffee and tea pot at our house is always at the ready.

Thanks for being on the planet. Cheers, blessings and love,

No Comments

  • Daryle Thomas
    June 1, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Hi Marion,
    I am a Master Gardener in Vermont, dedicated black sheep of the fold in that I actually like to teach people about growing their own food as opposed to flippin’ the EBT card. If your list of “40 vegetables to grow” (did I get that right?) is still available, I would love a copy.
    I heard an echo in your advice on how to be awake to see the Northern Lights … drink a big glass of water … I sold wood stoves for over 30 years in a previous life. People would ask how to make a wood stove burn all night. My answer was always to drink a big glass of water before going to bed. You are clearly a woman of great wisdom!
    Be well.

  • Mary Gilmartin
    December 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Do you still have your Kodak Brownie camera? When I was a kid, I remember that camera, but was never allowed to use it. It sounds like you are a true gardener and cook. Always wanted to visit Alaska. Maybe, one day I will.

    • marionowen
      December 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Hi Mary, Thanks for your comments…While I don’t have my Brownie any more, I do have a vintage (don’t like the work “old”) view camera which still works. As for Alaska… you know, many people tell me “I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska.” And I say, “Start planning, and just do it!” It is so amazing, and a big state. Cheers and blessings, Marion

  • Carol-Ann Sihvonen
    December 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Dear Marion,
    Thanks for the up-date to your blog. I was reading the Kodiak Daily Mirror about the site for the maritime museum, etc. And the sad news about the closing of the bookstore. ;-(. My Coastie son, was featured in the K D M when he was out of uniform, doing “Santa to the Villages” duty! (Dec. 6th) so that’s how I was able to read the paper for several days. My son will be transferring out of Kodiak next summer so I do not think that I will get to hop over from Kuopio, Finland to experience that wonderful side of the far north before he leaves. It has been so warm over here with little or no snow to brighten up the dark days. My granddaughter has been wishing for snow there. But you have had it colder there. I hope you got your carrots out of the ground before the freeze!;-D
    And, a wonderful new year to you all.

    • marionowen
      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Thanks, Carol. I would love to jump over to your world to photograph the northern lights. Supposed to be a good year for them… Wishing you a Christmas and New Year filled with blessings. Marion


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