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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: www.homeandlandscapeexpo.com .

- 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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