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Explore the Gardens Gone Native Tour online this weekend

At a garden in Woodland, a busy pollinator is oblivious to visitors during the 2019 Gardens Gone Native Tour. This year the tour will move online. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Virtual tour showcases Sacramento-area gardens planted in California natives

As healthy as it is to take breaks from the screen these days, this weekend you're going to want to make time for this big online event: the Gardens Gone Native Virtual Tour.

Saturday was supposed to be the 10th annual event in this self-guided tour organized by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. The tour, including gardens in Yolo and Sacramento counties, is designed to spotlight the use of California native plants in home gardens.

But under the state's coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, the tour now will come to you through the internet. This link will go live Saturday, April 25: .

This restful scene was at a garden in Davis in 2019.
"You can still be inspired by a variety of gardens that showcase the beauty, versatility, and wildlife habitat value of native plants as well as their role in water efficient landscapes," says the Sac Valley CNPS chapter.

So look at all the amazing plants, take notes, and plan to put some of these beauties in your own garden. You might even be inspired to be part of the 2021 tour. And this year, at least, we'll all save on gas when moving from garden to garden.

To find out more about California native plants, visit the area chapter at (which has many links to articles and other garden videos) or the statewide organization at .

-- Kathy Morrison


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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