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McKinley Park is for rose lovers

The Court of Honor -- the top winning roses -- from a previous Sacramento Rose Show. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Sacramento Rose Show, big volunteer event on Saturday

Love roses? McKinley Park will be the place to be Saturday. Two big events will offer plenty of blooms to admire and some hands-on opportunities.

Hundreds of roses will fill Shepard Garden and Arts Center during the 71st annual Sacramento Rose Show, set for 1 to 4:30 p.m. April 27. Admission and parking are free.

See and smell a wide variety of roses at their best. Arrangements show off the artistry of roses. This year’s theme -- “The Golden Spike” – salutes the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Anyone can enter a rose in this show, as long as its home-grown. Vases are provided. Identification help is available. Entries are open 7 to 10 a.m.; first-time (novice) exhibitors should arrive before 9 a.m.

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

For folks who want to learn more about roses while also volunteering, the McKinley Park Memorial Rose Garden will host its annual Volunteer Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Hosted by Friends of East Sacramento, the event will include free refreshments from Freeport Bakery at 8:30 a.m. Training sessions on how to deadhead roses will start promptly at 9 a.m.

About 100 volunteers are expected to be out in force, tidying up the famous garden and its 1,200 rose bushes. Among the most popular wedding venues in Sacramento, the 1.5-acre rose garden was featured in the hit movie “Lady Bird.”

“If you can’t volunteer, at least stop by and enjoy our gorgeous roses in full bloom!” said garden coordinator Lyn Pitts. “The roses will have the biggest blooms for the year as well as the most blooms at one time for the year. You do not want to miss this. The colors will be stunning! It will be a great day to take photographs and selfies, too.”

The rose garden is on H Street near 33rd Street. Details: .

The Shepard Garden and Art Center will be filled with roses Saturday during the rose show. Even more roses will be on view outside,  in the McKinley Park Rose Garden.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* 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 needs nutrients. Fertilize 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.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* 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.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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