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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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