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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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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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