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Find perfect Valentine at this auction

Love at First Sight is among the new roses to be auctioned Thursday.
(Photo courtesy Weeks Roses)
At this event, buy a bush, not just a bouquet

Sweetheart alert: Friday is Valentine’s Day. Why give only a dozen cut roses when you can give a whole bush?

Besides finding a creative gift for your favorite gardener, your pre-Valentine purchase also benefits a local club: the Sacramento Rose Society.

At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, the society hosts its annual auction of rare and new roses at Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park. The public is invited; admission and parking are free. Cash or check only please.

New releases will be offered as bare root. Dozens of miniatures and minifloras as well as some larger shrubs will be offered as bushes grown on their own roots.

Weeks Roses donated five of their new releases including two with perfect names for Valentine’s Day: In Your Eyes (a unique shrub rose with cup-like yellow blooms with red “eyes” that fade to pink and purple) and Love at First Sight (a bicolor hybrid tea; red petals are silvery white underneath). Also available will be: Queen of Elegance (a ruffly pink floribunda); State of Grace (a multi-color grandiflora; the big pink and gold blooms have a citrus scent); and Celestial Night (a purple floribunda).

In addition, the auction assortment features something for every rose lover – and your favorite Valentine, too. Some examples: Miniature favorites Irresistible (snow white with a slightly pink blush at the center) and Joy (cream edged with bright pink). Both roses look like full-size hybrid teas – only little.

Or go for something different (and maybe appropriate) -- Grumpy, a pink and very fragrant polyantha released almost a century ago as part of a fairy tale tribute to the Seven Dwarfs.

The auction supports the club’s activities throughout the year including its annual rose show in April and workshops.

This is a second chance for local rose lovers; Sierra Foothills Rose Society held its auction last week. Roses for both auctions, which have different selections, are featured in the same online catalog and the clubs’ shared newsletter.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

For an online auction catalog with photos, go to:

- Debbie Arrington


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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