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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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