Skagway’s John Brodersen reads about some of the flowers on display at the annual Eastern Star Flower and Garden Show at A.B. Hall.

Flower and Garden Showcase of Skagway plants

Debbie Ackerman wins 2008 Edie Lee Award

Story and Photos by Molly Dischner

Despite the cool summer, Arctic Brotherhood Hall was filled with plants for the 26th annual Order of the Eastern Star’s Skagway Flower and Garden Show.
The three-day show featured entries in every category –from roses to a Radio Flyer wagon filled with red and orange flowers. Proceeds from the event will go to college scholarships for Skagway School students. The event was dedicated to Connie Conard, a former Flower and Garden Show organizer, said Stan Selmer, who presented the awards at a brief ceremony on the opening afternoon, August 10.
Top award winners included Debbie Ackerman, who won the Edie Lee award and Most Creative (for the wagon filled with flowers), and Lizzie Carlson, who took home both the Best in Show and Elma McMillen Rose awards.
Ackerman started gardening in the early 1980s, with encouragement (and clippings) from her mom, Barb Elliott, who won the Edie Lee award in 2003.
Carlson had an even longer track record.
“I’ve been gardening and gardening. I have been planting things for over 40 years,” she said.

Edie Lee Award winner Debbie Ackerman with her husband Ron in her award-winning yard; Lizzie Carlson poses with her award-winning roses and the ribbons she won for Best in Show and the Elma McMillan Rose Award.

Other awards included the Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Trowel award, for the best business garden, which went to Dedman’s Photo Shop, Most Unusual, won by Barb Brodersen for her strawberries, and the Children’s award, which went to Samantha Wiley.
Shirley Hunz said they had tried to increase participation in the children’s category this year by providing kindergarteners with seeds and soil and offering them an ice cream certificate if they brought in their plants, but Wiley was the only one to enter the contest.
Selmer said there were fewer entries than usual this year, which he thought was partially because of the cold weather, and the decrease in bees. He was hopeful that the weather would be more cooperative next summer.
“We know that global warming is here, and it’ll reach us sometime, so there’ll be more entries next year,” he said.
Ackerman was also surprised by the low number of entries, and said she hoped more people would enter next year, especially because of Skagway’s Garden City nickname. The weather didn’t stop Ackerman. She entered most of her garden, and what wasn’t fully grown yet –tomatoes – came in under grow lights.

Averill Harp does a little weeding in front of Dedman’s while showing off the golden trowel they won for best business garden.

And the rest of the winners are....

Outdoor planters: 1. John Tronrud; 2. Gladys Moran; 3. Elise Decker.

Begonias: 1. Deb Boettcher, 2. Judy Mallory.

Dahlias: 1. Wanda Warner; 2. Lizzie Carlson; 3. Nancy Schave.

Geraniums: 1. Irene Soucek; 2. Debbie Ackerman.

Petunias: 1. Kristen Jacquot; 2. Su Rappleye; 3. John Tronrud.

Lilies: 1. Misty Wiley; 2. Anna Marchant; 3. Tina Cyr.

Lilies and mixed flower bouqets adorned one table.

Bouquet: 1. Tina Cyr, 2. Irene Soucek; 3. Ada Haskin.

Vegetables: 1. Nancy Schave; 2. John Tronrud; 3. Jeff Ruff.

Fruits: 1. Nancy Schave; 2. Su Rappleye; 3. Nancy Schave.

Fruit and vegetable entries included wines made by Erica Foss and Deb Boettcher, apples, and John Tronrud’s box of mashed potatoes.

Herbs: 1. Gladys Moran; 2. Irene Soucek; 3. Nancy Schave.

Most interesting: 1. Ron Ackerman; 2. Erica Foss; 3. Deb Boettcher.

Honorable Mentions: Debbie Ackerman; Heidi Huso; Bianca Barger.