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Sacramento hosts annual fuchsia sale Saturday

Hardy club offers showy plants at Shepard Center

Fuchsias can thrive in Sacramento. This plant is the Ambassador variety. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

A staple of Sacramento gardening (and gardening clubs), fuchsias will take the spotlight Saturday, June 5, when the Sacramento branch of the American Fuchsia Society hosts its annual plant sale.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or until all plants are sold), the sale will be held at Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park. Admission and parking are free.

COVID restrictions are still in effect at Shepard Center. Patrons will be required to wear a face mask. Social distancing will be encouraged. Bring cash or check.

Sacramento’s fuchsia club is a hardy group and the sale is a testament to its determination. Most local clubs suspended activities or moved meetings to Zoom, but the fuchsia folks never missed an in-person scheduled meeting. While almost all other garden events were canceled, the members also hosted a small show and sale in June 2020.

“The Sacramento Branch of the AFS I think is the only fuchsia club – and one of the few meeting at the (Shepard Center) – that has not missed a single meeting or sale,” said Scott Humphrey, a longtime club member and leader.

Fuchsia blossoms on a plate
Fuchsia blossoms take many forms. These are some of the
varieties that will be on sale.

Like many events this spring, the 2021 fuchsia sale is scaled back from past years. There will be some modest displays of blooms, but no formal show. The plant inventory will be smaller, too.

“The impact of COVID continues,” Humphrey said.

The club also was affected by the sale of Eisley’s Nursery, which had custom-grown a large number of plants for Sacramento’s annual sale.

Nevertheless, the club was able to obtain cuttings of very desirable varieties. Humphrey estimates the sale will have about 100 4-inch plants.

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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