Marion Owen Alaska

My favorite, natural solutions for controlling plant pests

While talking with a friend about indoor plants recently, we got on the topic of pests. “What are those little black flies that buzz around my face when I’m working on the computer?” she blurted. “They drive me crazy!”

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My New Year’s resolutions after a health crisis renews my love affair with plants

Zion, National, Park, Utah, sunshine, hiking
Marty pauses in the morning light. (Zion National Park, Utah)

In October 2016 my husband experienced a mini-stroke. We were traveling in our motorhome at the time, camped near Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. While Marty’s 5-minute episode didn’t leave any outward signs of damage,

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In praise of: Winter spinach, easy refrigerator pickles, and aronia berries

This article was originally published as one of my weekly garden columns…
Let me begin with a gentle apology: Professional columnists say you should never devote your columns to more than one topic. Fat chance. Here in Kodiak, Alaska, there’s so much going on

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From whales to plants, mid-summer feeding is a must

After shutting down the boat engine we leaned against the railing to watch two humpback whales feed close to the surface. Winding slowly through the kelp bed, they created small whirlpools with their pectoral fins and tails, like a

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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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Feeling hugged in Edmonds, Washington: A photo essay

Have you ever arrived in a community and felt hugged? That was my first impression about Edmonds, Washington, my sister’s town. As we sipped coffee, sampled toasted cheese sandwiches, and strolled along the high tide mark looking for beach glass, I thought, “Wow, this is one of the most

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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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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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