ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In late January, Anchorage’s landscape is reduced to a handful of familiar elements: bare-limbed willows, moose and spruce trees buried in snow.
It’s around this time that locals with means tend to decamp for Hawaii, where green things grow out of the earth and where the air smells like flowers all the time. The rest of us linger at supermarket floral departments and potted office ferns, sniffing wistfully.
There’s a better, and less creepy, way to get your botanical kicks: a little known city oasis where winter-weary city dwellers can step into a tropical greenhouse bursting with cacti, orchids, succulents and lime trees.
The Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse is located on Lidia Selkregg Lane, in the driveway of the Selkregg Chalet at Russian Jack Park. It’s run by the municipality’s horticulture and gardening division, the same people responsible for the city’s amazing summer show of hanging baskets and landscaped green spaces.