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Heavenly scents in the cemetery

This rose is known as Upper Lake Cemetery Pink, a hybrid perpetual rose. These and others are now in full bloom at the Historic City Cemetery. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Gloire des Rosomanes, aka Ragged Robin
Heritage Rose Garden now in full bloom

If only photos could capture scent.

A spring stroll through the Heritage Rose Garden at Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery fills the senses with dazzling color and heavenly fragrance.

Lady Hillingdon
Many of the collection’s 500-plus roses are now in bloom. Although events such as Open Gardens and monthly tours have been canceled or postponed, the cemetery itself remains open free to visitors daily.

While social distancing, a trip to the cemetery gardens can be invigorating. What will you see? Here’s a sample:

Gloire des Rosomanes – A found China rose from the Gold Rush town of Columbia, this variety is believed to trace back to 1825. It’s also known by its much more familiar nickname, Ragged Robin.

Lady Hillingdon – A golden tea rose with a heavenly scent, it was introduced in 1910.

Pagani Valley Yellow Banksiae
Pagani Valley Yellow Banksiae – A variation of the famous Lady Banks, this rose was discovered in Sonoma County. This spring, this impressive bush was covered with bloom.

Indica Major – This Odorata shrub dates from before 1811. It was discovered in San Andreas.

Mons. Tillier – A tea rose from 1891, this bush is amazingly fragrant. The big blooms are intensely pink.

Mme. Antoine Mari
Mme. Antoine Mari – This 1901 tea rose is a charming madam. She originally comes from Nice, France, but has earned many American (and modern) fans. This variety was named 2008 “Earth-Kind Rose of the Year” by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Upper Lake Cemetery Pink (photo at top of post) – A hybrid perpetual, this found rose – discovered growing in the Upper Lake cemetery – most likely is a sport of La Reine, one of the most popular old garden roses.

Indica Major

Mons. Tillier


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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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