Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Sacramento gardens still need volunteers

The beloved McKinley Park Rose Garden needs volunteers to weed and mulch it. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

McKinley Park's beloved rose garden could use some TLC

Gardens keep growing, whether or not someone is there to care for them.

When that garden is a public landmark dependent on volunteer help, that situation can quickly become problematic.

Home to about 1,200 bushes, McKinley Park’s beloved Memorial Rose Garden needs some TLC. Usually, the 1.5-acre garden on H Street near 33rd Street in East Sacramento has no shortage of helping hands – especially this time of year. Early spring weather prompts rapid growth. Thousands of buds have formed and are about to burst into bloom.

But weeds are growing even faster in the rose beds. If those weeds are not tackled now and the beds mulched, the formal rose garden can turn raggedy in a hurry.

This week, McKinley Park rose garden coordinator Lyn Pitts put out a plea for volunteers to help as they can when they can, practicing social distancing and spacing themselves apart from others. (Such garden chores count as necessary outdoor exercise and the city park is still open to the public.)

Pitts emailed past volunteers to enlist their help. “Sure wish I could call together another volunteer event, but just can't bring any of you guys into harm’s way by assembling a group together,” Pitts wrote. “But there are still plenty of things to do at the Rose Garden that you great volunteers can still do to help!”

The rose garden is home to 1,200 bushes.
Pitts has a long list of beds that need weeding or mulch as well as other garden chores. (Recent rain makes pulling out the nutgrass much easier.) And even though no group events are planned, volunteers can still tackle assignments.

To take part, email Pitts directly at .

Considered one of the most romantic spots in Sacramento, the McKinley Park rose garden usually hosts weddings almost every weekend during the late spring and summer. Those events will pick back up once large gatherings are allowed again. Pitts wants to assure that the garden will be ready.

Some roses are already in bloom, particularly one large climber.

“(Longtime volunteers) Bill and Mary Kuyper pruned our Lady Banks rose and did such a fantastic job, it looks great right now,” Pitts said. “Come see it!”


0 comments have been posted.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Thanks to our sponsor!

Be Water Smart

Local News

Ad for California Local

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.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.