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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 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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