Enhancing and Beautifying Glendale’s Outdoor Spaces
Formed in 2022 and multi-year in scope, Naturally Glendale has an informal group of native plant enthusiasts who are adding native flowering plants to our Community Hall grounds and Glendale’s outdoor spaces.
Native plants in your yard.
Native wildflowers, shrubs and trees are part of a healthy ecology creating a vibrant space. They support pollinators, such as bumblebees, butterflies and other critters. Native plants have been part of the Alberta landscape for millennia and have adapted to short seasons, drought, soils and Chinooks. You can grow native plants! And they make you feel good.
The naturalization of the Glendale community grounds, initiated in 2022 will support an amazing habitat for insects, bugs, birds, bats and other critters. If you plant native species, they will come. Start with just one.
Colour, texture and interest through native plants
Native plants are beautiful, interesting, fun and should be in your yard. We’ve been convinced that exotic plants from other corners of the world have superior beauty or that flowers with double the number of petals are better. This means that our own native plants have been underappreciated. Their colours, textures, shapes, sizes, architectural features and four-season interest need another look. We can design a yard with native plants, both formally or letting nature’s messy approach dominate. Native plants are the new gorgeous. Beautiful plants add to your life and well-being.
A little knowledge to create an ecology
Native plants don’t grow in isolation. In the ‘wild’ and naturalized areas, look from the ground up. There is a complexity of plant life that is not normally found in a garden setting. We don’t need our yards to look like a series of potted plants and curated to showcase them at their best. That’s not a particularly good ecology. We need to widen our appreciation for beauty and allow nature to colour outside our lines.
In a wildlands area, there can be hundreds of plants, critters you can see and millions of living invisible organisms: from below the ground and up! There you’ll find fungi, ground covers, forbes, grasses, shrubs and trees, with myriad living critters, from bugs to birds to mammals and more, creating a lively, interactive and healthy environment for us all. Bring some of this into our community hall grounds and into your yards.
For More Information or to take part in Naturally Glendale, either a volunteer on the community grounds or in your yard, laneway or our green patches throughout the neighborhood, contact Monika at: Monika@naturallyglendale.ca.
We welcome stories, photos about your encounters with critters: from a spider to a bobcat and anything in between or beyond. Watch for Monika’s Grove articles in The Thumper.
Image 1: Plants in the photo: Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata), harebells (Campanula rotundifolia), fleabane (Erigeron glabellus) and native grasses. Photo courtesy Monika Smith
Image 2: Plants in this part of the yard: bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Strawberry lettuce (Chenopodium capitatum), Saskatoon berry (Amelanchier alnifolia), golden current (Ribes aureum), alder (Alnus incana), purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurea), wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), pin cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica) and more.
Image 3: Wild rose (Rosa acicularis) and bumblebee (Bombus?). It’s difficult to identify bumblebees if the wings are folded! Here’s a natural pairing that has been around for millennia in Alberta.
Image 4: The delicate pin cushion flowerhead of the Rocky Mountain bee plant (Peritoma serralata) is a vigorous annual that self seeds by producing skinny green pods as soon as the flowers fade. The plant will bloom into autumn. The distinctive yellow coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) is full of seeds that attracts pollinators.
Image 5: We are privileged to have natural environment parks such as Edworthy Park. Note the Cow parsley (Heracleum sphondylium) growing with fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), which are widely found, and unidentified grasses. They have their own brand of allure. And create dramatic winter interest, while offering shelter and food for bugs and birds in winter.
Image 6: An unknown mushroom, the second species in my yard this summer and they showed up all by themselves. Sage, wild rose, some grasses. Why are mushroom and fungi important in a yard? Think networking and the wood wild web that Dr. Susan Simard has researched for decades.
If you love butterflies, you have to love the kids. These butterflies (Fritillaries) are a Canada-wide, non-migratory species with two generations a year. The butterflies (adults) are found nectaring on daisy family flowers (Penstemon and Senecio also). Their caterpillars (kids) feed on several species of viola.