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No 2021 Camellia Show (but still get a button)

Big Sacramento event is canceled, but souvenirs and plants available

Pink, red and white camellia blossoms on table
These camellia entries were all from the 2020 Camellia Show, the last big floral event in the region before the first COVID-19 lockdown. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

COVID-19 claimed another victim: The 2021 Sacramento Camellia Show.

Annually the nation’s largest show of its kind, the Sacramento Camellia Show is usually held on the first weekend in March. But pandemic restrictions and concerns about patrons’ health tabled this year’s event, which would have been the 97th annul show.

“No official show this year,” said Julie Vierra, president of the Camellia Society of Sacramento. “We are in the same boat (as other clubs who have cancelled events).”

Held just before the first COVID lockdowns, the 2020 Camellia Show filled the Elks Lodge on Riverside Boulevard with hundreds of fresh blooms. It was the last major floral event before pandemic restrictions brought many local clubs grinding to a halt.

Like other garden clubs, the Camellia Society put its monthly meetings on hold, too.

“We keep everyone updated in our monthly newsletters,” Vierra said.

The club had been planning on a 2021 show, including the creation of commemorative buttons and magnets as well as ordering plants to sell. The group now has lots of 2021 buttons and magnets as well as dozens of healthy camellia bushes in need of buyers.

Plants and the collectible buttons have long been major fundraisers for the Camellia Society, Sacramento’s oldest garden club. Instead of at the show, these items are being sold by club members. Persons interested in buying buttons or magnets ($1.50 each) should contact Vierra directly at 916-371-2174.

To buy plants, check out the club’s December 2020 newsletter , also posted on the club’s website. The newsletter contains variety descriptions. Then contact Bill Kitagawa, plant chairman, at 916-591-5654 or .

As for the camellias, Sacramento can still enjoy its signature flower.

“My camellias are gorgeous and blooming early!” Vierra said. “I'm almost in full bloom! I've been posting on Facebook and telling other members to post, too.”

While there’s no show this year, Vierra encourages camellia lovers to share their blooms, both virtually and in person. She has given bouquets to friends and favorite businesses.

For more details and links: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* 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 – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

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

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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