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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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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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