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Rose sale, tours at Historic City Cemetery

Many roses will be in full glory this weekend at the Historic City Cemetery.
Tours and rose sales will be offered Saturday, with more roses on sale Sunday.
(Photos: Debbie Arrington)
Open Garden Day shows off cemetery's rare roses at their best

Sacramento’s world famous “living library of roses” is ready for its close-up, and it smells heavenly, too.

On Saturday, the Historic City Cemetery hosts its annual Open Gardens celebration with free guided tours, displays and a sale of rare roses cloned from its vast collection. Admission is free.

The sale starts at 9:30 a.m. April 13 and continues through 2 p.m. Tours start at 10:30 a.m. For flower lovers who can’t make Saturday, any remaining roses will be offered for sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14.

Recognized as one of the great rose gardens of the world, the cemetery garden features more than 500 bushes including several varieties found nowhere else in California. These specimens are allowed to grow to their optimal beauty. For example, a white Lady Banks rose climbs nearly to the top of a 60-foot pine tree and cascades with huge bowers of flowers. Several decorative arches are covered with old-time favorites.

Early April is this rose garden’s peak of bloom. This week’s warm weather has coaxed out millions of fragrant flowers.

For the sale, volunteers lovingly nurtured rooted cuttings of some of the cemetery’s most popular roses into mature bushes, ready to plant. These roses are mostly priced at $20 each. See the catalog of roses available here: .

In addition to all those roses, Open Gardens Day also features tours of the cemetery’s Hamilton Square perennial garden, featuring hundreds of unusual Mediterranean varieties, plus the California Native Plant Society demonstration garden and its spectacular California lilacs.

Free parking is available on surface streets surrounding the cemetery. Enter at the main gate, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento.

Details: .

Heritage roses of all kinds bloom this week at Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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