Alaska Garden Party

I went to a garden party To reminisce with my old friends A chance to share old memories And play our songs again When I got to the garden party They all knew my name No one recognized me I didn’t look the same

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But it’s all right now I learned my lesson well You see, ya can’t please everyone So ya got to please yourself

People came from miles around Everyone was there Yoko brought her walrus

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There was magic in the air ‘N’ over in the corner Much to my surprise Mr Hughes hid in Dylan’s shoes Wearing his disguise

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But it’s all right now I learned my lesson well You see, ya can’t please everyone So ya got to please yourself

Lott-in-dah-dah lot-in-dah-dah-dah

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It was all I could think of…Ricky Nelson’s song Garden Party. Here we were at a Garden Party in of all places, Alaska. Not the first thing you think of when you think about Alaska and we’d certainly come “from miles around” and catching up with my sister included  “reminiscing “.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself. The bus picked us up at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. As we made our way back to Skagway we followed a steep and winding road back through White Horse Pass. We were basically retracing the same path we’d taken on the train up the mountains.

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We arrived at Jewell Gardens & Garden City Glassworks right on time. We stepped off the bus to be escorted right into a little enclosed area decorated like a garden shed.

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We were served tea and salad, then the main course of quiche followed by desert. The tea was good and the salad was awesome. I passed on the quiche and I think I skipped desert as I can’t remember what it was.

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Lunch finished we headed into the gardens themselves. According to our guide the spring weather was about 2 weeks late this year so they were just beginning to plant now. Because of the extended daylight the short growing season translates into gigantic plants. The gardens have been in Skagway since he gold rush when it was one of the few places the miners could get fresh produce.

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One of the vegetables that grows extremely well here is rhubarb. We saw lots of rhubarb beds and vintage pictures lined the  fences showing the huge rhubarb leaves. Rhubarb was the perfect plant because it’s high in vitamin C so kept the miners and residents alike from contracting scurvy over the long dark winter.

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Flower beds and native trees were laid out in what is sure to be a beautiful design once the plants begin to bloom.

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Glass decorations made in their own glass blowing shop  accented the beds.

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And speaking od beds, along the back of the grounds was a series of ramshackle sheds. In each shed was a bed frame with flower seedlings.

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They were meant as a rather whimsical salute to  the shacks the prostitutes used back in the day, the gardens’s “red light” district. 🙂

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Speaking of whimsy, an elaborate  model train was set up and ran all through the grounds. The town and it’s miniatures represented different events in Skagway’s history.

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Last but not least we watched the glass blowing. I’ve seen glass blowing demonstrations before but never one that was so detailed and intricate.

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The finished products were available for purchase in the gift shop.

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Jewell Garden is a certified organic garden. We saw the compost heap to prove it! But seriously, their whole style  is dedicated to  this pure form of gardening and if the quality of the salad we had at lunch is any indication of what organic gardening can produce, well then, keep up the good work!

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