As I write this, I am enjoying the budding flowers on my crabapple tree. It’s been the kind of week where, if you were paying attention, you could watch the leaves open up right before your eyes. If you aren’t lucky enough to have crabapple trees within your view, you need to visit St. Albert Botanic Park next week — the park’s flowering crabapple orchard should be in full bloom by then.
But then, not everybody knows where we are, even after 19 years in the city. It seems we’re a “hidden gem,” although this is something we definitely want to change! We are located at 265 Sturgeon Road. If you are not aware, we are a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers with generous assistance from the City of St. Albert. Admission to the park is free, and we offer the beauty of a barrier-free space for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
If all of that isn’t enough to inspire a visit, then how about this: a new venture to showcase St. Albert talent that we’re calling Budding Artists in the Park. On Sunday June 7 and Sunday June 21, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the park will host free afternoons of music and art. What a great way to enjoy spring and to celebrate the talents both of our volunteers, who create the beauty of our park, and of the local musicians and artists who will join us. If you’re a budding artist or musician and want to join our line-up, please call 780-458-7163 to book an audition.
Speaking of our talented volunteers, we’re always looking for new faces to come and join us. If you enjoy fresh air, exercise, social activities, camaraderie, learning and sharing garden secrets, we have a spot on our volunteer roster for you! We welcome any and all talents, not just gardeners. Bring whatever strength or aptitude you have and we will find meaningful tasks for you.
Finally, there is still time to register for our last two classes. On June 3 we focus on Rockeries, with Bob Stadnyk of Hole’s Greenhouses. Come learn about alpine scree plants and rock garden placements and plants with this local expert. Our last class on June 10 will discuss how to be environmentally friendly while enjoying your garden, a hot topic these days. The class is called “Herbicides, Pesticides, Fertilizers and Organic Options – the good, bad and ugly and how to tell the difference, and when to use what and why.” We’re happy to have Gail Rankin share her expertise. Please call us at 780-458-7163 to register for either of these classes. Space is limited.
We’re looking forward to seeing lots of new faces at St Albert Botanic Park, either as visitors or volunteers. Come check us out — we will grow on you!
Brenda Harvey is a long-time volunteer at St. Albert Botanic Park.