Wild Wings at the Parkallen Community Garden

interpretive_signage_nesting_boxesDrop by the Parkallen Community Garden anytime to check out our nesting boxes for urban wildlife in Edmonton.  We have a bee condo for solitary bees, a bat box for nursing moms and pups, bird houses for native songbirds and an owl box.  Take a virtual tour or, better yet, look for the nest boxes at the garden.  What wildlife have you seen at the PCG?

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Evans Cherry Blossoms

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Evans Cherry blossoms in May at the Parkallen Community Garden. This variety is edible and best suited to the Edmonton climate.  Hope it fruits this fall!

Photo by Marlene Wurfel

Urban Wildlife in Parkallen: Whitetail Hare

Can you spot the baby bunny hiding in the leaves in “The Forest” at Ellingson Park?

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This photo was taken by Hazel.  It’s a baby Whitetail Hare.  Whitetail hares are also called Jackrabbits.  They are white in the winter and brown in the Spring.  Isn’t their camouflage effective?

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It’s normal for Jackrabbit moms to leave their babies hidden in a spot like this all day long.  The moms don’t want to attract the attention of predators.  Rabbits and hares are crepuscular, which means they are active and feed at dawn and dusk. If you find a baby hare alone, it doesn’t mean the mom has abandoned it. Wildlife experts urge us to leave wild bunnies alone.

Urban Wildlife in Parkallen

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Do you spot the bark-coloured Great Horned Owl in this old blue spruce tree in Parkallen?

Photograph by Marlene Wurfel (telephoto lens)

Would you like to grow a giant pumpkin?

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Hello, Sprouts.  One of our favorite gardening activities since starting the PCG has been growing giant pumpkins.  Each year, we’ve planting one seedling that thrived in our healthy, organic only soil.  Our first giant pumpkin, Maxine, grew to 137 pounds.  MaxIIne was a bit lighter because of the early frost.  (She doesn’t like to talk about her weight.)  How big will MaxIIIne be?  If you’d like to participate in a giant pumpkin growing contest this Spring, just let me know and we’ll find you a bed in the Parkallen Community Garden. This year, let’s plant more than one and let’s see how they grow. Maybe yours will claim the title of MaxIIIne, the biggest Parkallen pumpkin of 2015.  Maybe yours will be big enough to enter in the Smoky Lake pumpkin competition?

Oliver has started a pumpkin on March 7th, 2015 of the “Dill’s Atlantic Giant” variety.

Summer Snaps

Things are filling in nicely at the Parkallen Community Garden:

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(above) a pretty head of lettuce.

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(above) Zucchini coming in strong.

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(above and below) The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) looking lush.

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Rainbow Chard (above) is perfect for harvesting right now. Yum!

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A ripe tomato in mid-July. 

Inch by inch,

Marlene

 

 

Spring Snaps

 

 

In Spring 2014 the Parkallen Community Garden was planted over two weeks by a mix of community and school groups. We put in a good tomato patch with bedding plants started at home by gardeners. We mulched them in heavily with straw for moisture.

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Multiple gardeners asked for zucchini this year, so it’s the feature squash in our Three Sisters garden. We planted quite a few seeds and a good neighbor dropped off some bedding plants to me that she didn’t have space for. Oh, we’ll have zuchinni. Pick liberally!

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We planted a pepper patch that is combination of plants started at home and purchased from a greenhouse. Beware the “Basket of Fire” pepper.

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The corn in the Three Sisters garden was started in a greenhouse, the beans from seed.

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Last year’s giant pumpkin was so beloved that we’re growing another. The new Maxine’s baby pic is above. Look for her in her own bed in the garden, across from the flower spiral.

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The kinders at Parkallen School planted a pickle patch (cukes, dill, garlic) and the Grade 3s planted many, many pumpkin seeds. As weed pullers and hole diggers, they proved quite an awesome force. And they planted some purple potatoes, a.k.a. gourmatoes. Why not?

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Inch by inch,

Marlene

 

 

How To Make an Eggshell Planter

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Hey Sprouts, here are some instructions on how to use your egg-shells to start seeds.

You could recycle your favourite Easter-eggs:
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Or I dunno if you’d be up for getting a bit goofy with it:

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This blogger says they make great gifts.

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Have an Egg-sellent Easter Weekend.

 

 

 

Make an Eggshell Planter

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Eggshell Planter

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Check out The National Geographic’s “An Intimate Potrait of Bees”

Check out The National Geographic’s “An Intimate Potrait of Bees”

We know about the bumblebees that chase Winnie the Pooh when he’s greedy… but did you know there are hundreds of other species of wild bees in Alberta? Some are so tiny you probably wouldn’t recognize them as bees if you saw them. Most are gentle, solitary creatures.  Check out these beautiful photos of wild bees by National Geographic.