Enjoy Alaska's Garden City

Gardening has been a way of life for the people of Skagway since its early days of Russian colonization. The first garden was started behind the trading post in Dyea and the transient population ate up all the vegetables they could get their hands on. Early on, farmers found the soil to be rich enough to grow four-pound turnips and more. It didn’t take long to discover vegetables weren’t the only things that grew big and beautiful in Skagway. Flower gardens took root to transform the tough frontier town into a place adorned with beautiful flowers on every plot. In the early 1900s, a local jeweler named Herman Kirmse sponsored a local garden contest that became so successful it attracted many people outside of Alaska.

In 1910, the Skagway Commercial Club declared Skagway the “Garden City of Alaska,” and it stuck. Fertile soil, adequate moisture and long summer days translate into bountiful crops. In fact, for many years, the Blanchard Garden held the record for America’s largest dahlia. Visitors can walk around independently or take part in one of the garden tours available in Skagway to learn more about its abundant flora.

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