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Virus postpones Sacramento rose events


The roses are still there even if the events can't be. This is the mutabilis rose in the Historic City Cemetery, which as a
park is still open for solo walks.  (2019 photo: Kathy Morrison)

Cemetery cancels Open Garden; rose society puts show on hold

Coronavirus has put more major gardening events on hold, making Sacramento a little less rosy.

The Historic City Cemetery’s ever-popular Open Garden, originally planned for April 18 and 19, has been canceled. So have three other Cemetery Rose Walk and Talk tours, planned for late April and early May.

Volunteers for the cemetery’s Heritage Rose Garden hope to reschedule Open Garden to sometime in fall, if restrictions are lifted at that time. Open Garden, which showcases the cemetery’s world-famous rose garden as well as native plant and perennial gardens, annually attracts hundreds of visitors.

These were the winning blooms at the Sacramento Rose Society's 2019 show.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)
In addition, the Sacramento Rose Society has postponed its annual rose show, originally planned for April 25 at Shepard Garden and Arts Center. Organizers hope to reschedule the show to a later date.

While events may be on hold, roses are still coming into bloom. As a city park, the Historic City Cemetery is still open daily to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour and see – and smell – the roses for themselves. Best bloom is still two to three weeks away.

For details and the self-guided tour:
www.historicoldcitycemetery.org .

- Debbie Arrington

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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