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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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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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