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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 Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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