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So many begonias! Come get some!

Sacramento show and sale features more than 1,000 plants

Rex begonia with large reddish swirl
A rex begonia shows off the spectacular form
and color pattern that make these plants so desirable.
Rex begonias will be featured during the Sacramento
Begonia Sale and Show this weekend.
(Photo and video courtesy Mike Tentis, Sacramento
Begonia Society)

If you’re looking for unusual and eye-catching plants, this is the place. More than 1,000 begonias — many of them rare and hard-to-find varieties — will be available this weekend at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center during the annual Sacramento Begonia Show and Sale.

But it’s two days only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; 10 a.m. to 3 pm Sunday, Sept. 19. That’s a small window – not just to buy begonias, but to sell.

For their first big sale since 2019, members of the Joan Coulat Sacramento Branch of the American Begonia Society went to great lengths – and mileage – to gather the best plants possible. Last weekend, they took a bus trip to Los Osos near San Luis Obispo to personally pick out the specimens at a major begonia nursery.

Society members Mike Tentis and Paul Tsamtsis shared photos and video (see below) of their great begonia hunt. What they brought back to Sacramento is truly eye-popping: Rex begonias with foliage in a rainbow of colors and patterns. (They’re called “painted begonias” because each leaf looks like a living masterpiece.) Some even shimmer with a silvery patina.

Besides the amazing rex begonias, the sale will feature cane-type “angel wing” begonias as well as rhizomatous-type begonias and begonias which require terrariums. And they all need to be sold in just two days.

This is the society’s largest fundraiser in two years; those funds are needed to support its programs and keep this important and historic Sacramento garden club thriving. Admission and parking are free.

Show your support – and maybe discover a new favorite plant.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park. Due to Covid restrictions, patrons are required to wear face masks while inside the building.

Details and directions: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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