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Auctions offer rare (plus new) roses


Weeks Roses donated In Your Eyes roses, above, and four others to the
area rose societies' annual auctions. (Photo courtesy Weeks Roses)


Find varieties from Villegas' collection while helping local clubs


Here’s your opportunity to grow roses just like legendary rose expert Baldo Villegas. Buy a bush grown from a cutting taken from his vast collection.

Or find a rose that Villegas doesn’t have – yet. And have fun in the purchase, outbidding other rose lovers, while supporting local garden clubs.

Both the Sierra Foothills and Sacramento rose societies will feature rose rarities and new varieties at their annual auctions in early February. It’s a wonderful way to build a rose collection, find a new addition to an established rose garden or get one special rose not available in local nurseries.

Villegas, a master rosarian with an estimated 3,000 bushes in his Orangevale garden, donated the cuttings to the two societies. Villegas, Duane and Melody Carlson, and Cindy Phipps propagated dozens of bushes, mostly miniatures and minifloras. These smaller varieties are great choices for container gardens, compact spaces and borders. Also among the selection are some ultra-fragrant Old Garden Roses and unusual polyanthas.

In addition, Weeks Roses donated five of their new releases: Celestial Night (a purple floribunda); In Your Eyes (a unique shrub rose with cuplike yellow blooms with red “eyes” that fade to pink and purple); Love at First Sight (a bicolor hybrid tea; red petals are silvery white underneath); Queen of Elegance (a ruffly pink floribunda); and State of Grace (a multicolor grandiflora; the big pink and gold blooms have a citrus scent).

Both auctions are open free to the public; cash or check please for purchases. The major fundraisers for these societies, the auctions support the clubs’ activities throughout the year including their annual rose shows and workshops. Except for the Weeks Roses, the selections are different at each event.

Sierra Foothills will host its auction at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Maidu Community Center, 1550 Maidu Drive, Roseville. A week later, Sacramento keeps the bidding going at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

For a free electronic catalog including both auctions, email your request to Charlotte Owendyk at
owendyk@gmail.com .

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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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