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See rainbow of irises at this Sacramento show

Bearded irises come in all sorts of colors, even bronze. See hundreds of examples at the Sacramento Iris Show.
(Photo: Debbie Arrington)
These colorful flowers are easy care, drought tolerant and spectacular

Irises may be spring’s most colorful flower. Bearded irises come in virtually every rainbow hue (even blue) and countless combinations.

See for yourself during the 69th annual Sacramento Iris Show this weekend in McKinley Park. This year’s theme -- “Goddess of the Rainbow” – fits the flower’s incredible variety as well as the origin of its name. In Greek mythology, Iris was the personification of a rainbow and a messenger from the gods.

This spring, bearded iris blooms have been plentiful in Sacramento, enjoying the cooler temperatures and abundant rain. This tough and easy-care perennial also can cope with Sacramento’s hot summers and years of drought, making it a versatile choice for local landscapes.

During the show, Shepard Garden and Arts Center will be packed with iris blooms at their best. Longtime growers and members of the Sacramento Iris Society will offer expert advice on how to get irises to rebloom spring after spring; some varieties repeat bloom in fall, too. Dozens of unusual irises will be offered for sale.

Admission and parking are free. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 21. Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.


For folks who can’t get enough irises, the National Iris Convention will be held April 22-28 in San Ramon. Tours during the convention include gardens In Loomis and Elk Grove.

Details and registration:


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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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