Monday, March 29, 2010

This just in...first flower in Anchorage!

The very first reported flower in Anchorage for this year comes to us from veteran gardener and hypertufa guru Carmel T.  She snipped it from her yard (on March 27th) and brought the flower and accompanying vase to gladden the hearts of all gardeners assembled to dream about spring at the Alaska Botanical Garden's annual Spring Garden Conference.  So what is this mystery marvel that can bloom in March?? 

(Yes, that question rates two question marks.  Nothing blooms in March but the pussy willows....)  Get your pencils out all gardeners in zones 2,3, and 4: Bulbocodium vernum, otherwise known as spring meadow saffron.  Check out this link for more pictures.  I will be putting this one on the fall bulb order this year.

Quick report on the conference.  There were four sessions with four different presentations for each session to chose from.  Presenters ranged from, at the high end, gardeners with decades of experience, people with doctorates and scientific research papers published on horticultural topics, and national garden book authors to, at the low end, me. 

I gave a presentation on ornamental grasses in Alaska (admittedly a very obscure branch of knowledge).  For one hour.  With only two or three electronic device related glitches (I am awarding a "gold star" to Extension Agent Julie Riley for saving my proverbial bacon when the computer took a dump with two minutes 'til presentation time).  I expected (and made handouts for) ten people.  Thirty showed up.  The classroom was kind of small, so I hope my alarm didn't show on my face when it started filling up.  These two words can precisely say how I feel about it all: it's over.  No, it wasn't a bad experience, but I just worked myself up into a state of nervousness that made every little thing seem huge.  My hands were even shaking!  I guess I better figure this nervous thing out because I will be speaking twice more in the next ten days.

Any speaking tips to calm the nerves from the veterans out there? 


  1. Love your sweet little saffron! Congratulations on your speaking gig - I'm sure each time out will get easier :)

  2. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to crowd myself and to make it worse it'd show badly on my face! I wish someone suggests in here which'd be helpful for me too.
    I should congratulate you for the huge crowd! I wish you luck for your future speeches. Do well!

  3. Practice, practice, practice. My best tip for not being nervous! Practice what you are going to say, and practice in as close to the actual setting as possible i.e. standing up, pretend you are looking around the presentation room making eye contact as you speak, etc.
    That said, I've given lots of presentations in my life but not gardening presentations. I give my first one this week and I expect I'll be nervous too! Good luck on your next few,

  4. Oooh It will definitely be hardy in my garden Thanks for the inspiration Christine.

  5. When speaking to audiences I PRETEND I am someone else who has spoken before audiences many times before. It works for me.

  6. Christine, All your audience members are naked.

    Beautiful flower! May there be many, many more in the next few months!!

    Love the tarp. What it's covering, God only knows. Cheers.

  7. Do you have the same sense of humor during your presentations that you do in your blog? Hope so.

    I literally got my pencil out and added meadow saffron to my list of what to order and plant this fall. Zone 4 jumped right out at me. Thanks for the info. I'm on the look out for early bloomers.



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