Upside-down trees take flowers to new heights

Trees turned upside down to support plants

Flower Towers of upside down trees–the trademark design of the Alaskan botanical gardens in Juneau, Alaska.
Photo courtesy of Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure.

The first day of spring has officially arrived here in the Land of Ice and Snow, formerly known as Southern Ontario, and we’re expecting lows diving past minus 10 degrees Celsius next week. (Sigh.) So some bright, fun colour guaranteed to bring on smiles is in order. I figure the upside down Flower Tower trees of Glacier Gardens in Juneau, Alaska fit the bill. If you’re planning to take an Alaskan cruise this summer, these gardens are a must-see.

Casualties of a 1984 landslide, the spruces and hemlocks were recycled by burying each tree, trunk down, up to seven feet deep. Then the root ball was transformed with fish netting, soil and mosses into a lofty bed for cascading blooms. This is seriously taking container plantings to new heights.

If you’ve got a dead tree in your backyard thanks to last December’s ice storm, here’s how to turn disaster into beauty. You can even use the idea for recycling a large shrub.The Glacier Gardens website helpfully gives instructions for making your own Flower Tower. Or you can buy their book aptly named “How to Plant a Tree Upside Down”. Think of the possibilities. It’s OK. Since spring won’t be arriving for real any time soon, you’ve got time.

31 thoughts on “Upside-down trees take flowers to new heights

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    • Thanks! Glacier Gardens is a huge attraction in Juneau. If you ever take an Alaskan cruise, be sure to put them on your bucket list! What I love is that you can translate this idea for large shrubs as well.


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