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'Animal Tales' recount Sacramento critter history

Learn the symbolism behind monument carvings as well as stories
about Sacramento's notable 19th century animal residents.
(Photo: Courtesy Historic City Cemetery)
Historic City Cemetery hosts rescheduled tour Saturday

With warm and sunny weather in the forecast Saturday, Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery will bring back a popular tour that got rained out in early March. Besides, the cemetery gardens have never looked lovelier.

The gardens of the Historic City Cemetery
are now in full bloom.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Enjoy the flowers – along with critter lore – during “Animal Tales,” a fun- and anecdote-filled walking tour of the cemetery and its gardens.

Animals – wild or domestic – played a big part of life in early Sacramento. Discover some of the more interesting animal-related stories associated with Sacramento’s pioneers and 1800s residents.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20, this guided tour will recall tales of pet bears, boas, parakeets and escaped monkeys as well as note the area’s famous horsemen, cattle ranchers, ostrich farmers, beekeepers and more. Also learn some of the animal symbolism used on cemetery monuments.

Admission is free. All ages are welcome; wear sensible shoes for the cemetery’s gravel paths.

Meet at the cemetery’s main gate, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. Free street parking is available.

This tour is part of a year-long series, exploring Sacramento history. Upcoming topics include “Sacramento, The Soul of the Railroad” (May 4), “Stonecutters, Sacramento’s First Artists” (May 18) and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (June 1).

Details: .

If you missed Open Gardens on April 13, there's still a chance to see the cemetery's famous gardens on this April 20 guided tour (and learn some fun Sacramento history, too). (Photo: Debbie Arrington)


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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