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The big show returns to Cal Expo

The Landscape Showcase features designs by local landscape designers. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)
NorCal Home & Landscape Expo opens Friday

Looking for inspiration – or the right contractor to get a job done? Find both at the annual Northern California Home & Landscape Expo, Friday through Sunday, Jan. 25-27.

“The Big Show at Cal Expo” returns for its 24th year, filling much of Sacramento’s fairgrounds. Attracting more than 32,000 patrons in 2018, the NorCal expo is considered the nation’s largest three-day show of its kind.

Always a highlight is the expo’s Landscape Showcase, featuring local designers. Sacramento’s Roberta Walker Landscape Design, known for its water-wise makeovers, is among this year’s showcase participants along with CreativeScapes, The Paver Company and Professional Image Landscape.

In the Pavilion Building, visit the UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners of Sacramento County. They’ll answer questions and offer advice on selecting the right plants for the right place (and much more).

In the City of Trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation will highlight the importance of trees in a special exhibit, not only in landscapes, but for community health and quality of life.

Free seminars featuring local and national experts focus on a wide range of popular topics. Among the highlights: Nationally known landscape designer and author Michael Glassman will present “A Small Backyard Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Have It All” (3 p.m. Friday) and “Drought-Tolerant Landscape Solutions” (noon Sunday); landscape designer Roberta Walker will explain how to re-imagine “The Landscape as Your Outdoor Living Room” (noon Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday); and lifetime master gardener Pam Bone will tackle “Landscape Mistakes and Misconceptions” (2 p.m. Saturday).

Wear comfortable shoes; there’s plenty to see. Spread over 12 buildings, more than 1,000 exhibits and vendors offer solutions to just about every home and garden issue.

Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 adults; children age 12 and younger admitted free. Friday only, seniors age 62 and older admitted for $5 before 3 p.m.

Cal Expo is located 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. For details, vendor list, seminar times and more: .

- Debbie Arrington


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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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