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She goes the distance for mum show

Portland grower wins top honors in Sacramento

Mums on display
Mums fill Shepard Center during 73rd Sacramento Chrysanthemum Show. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Three apricot colored mums
Tamara Bliley's trio of Peach Courtier's mums
took Queen of Show honors.

Some people will go to great lengths for their flowers. For Tamara Bliley, that commitment paid off.

With fragile cargo, Bliley drove nearly 600 miles to enter her mums in the 73rd annual Sacramento Chrysanthemum Show. She took home best in show.

Her trio of perfectly matched Peach Courtier reflex mums wowed the judges and earned top honors, Queen of Show.

President of the Portland Chrysanthemum Society, Bliley entered 65 mums in the Sacramento show, which was open to all comers. Held at Shepard Garden and Arts Center on Nov. 7 and 8, the show attracted entries from throughout California as well as Oregon.

What’s even more impressive, Bliley also won best in show honors the weekend before at Portland’s annual show. She lives and gardens in Oregon City, Ore., 15 miles southeast of Portland.

Flower arrangement
Pat Gaston won a trophy for this spectacular arrangement.

“She actually entered more flowers in our show than her own,” said Sharon Peterson of the Sacramento Chrysanthemum Society.

The first major flower show in Sacramento since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, the mum show filled Shepard Center with hundreds of exhibition blooms. Members of the Sacramento Floral Design Guild also participated with several spectacular arrangements.

Obeying pandemic guidelines, patrons wore face masks and kept socially distanced, Peterson said.

In all, about 20 mum growers exhibited blooms. Several flower arrangers also participated.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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