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River Park hosts its first garden tour


Discover seven special gardens in River Park during the first River Park Garden Tour this Saturday.
(Photo courtesy River Park Garden Club)

See six private landscapes plus a large student project

Discover some hidden gems and get inspired to create your own during the first River Park Garden Tour, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

“Seven Special Garden Spaces” will take you inside the landscapes of six private homes in this unique Sacramento neighborhood plus the gardens of Caleb-Greenwood School.

Where is River Park? The neighborhood’s main street is Carlson Drive, off H Street, east of California State University, Sacramento, near the Scottish Rite Masonic Center and Fremont Church in Sacramento.

But it’s the rich alluvial soil that makes this riverside neighborhood such a gardening delight.

Among the tour highlights are: a poet’s garden; an English garden with edibles; a garden nurtured by a pair of serious plant “junkies”; another with a collection of Japanese maples and rock formations; a low-maintenance design; and one of the area’s largest drought-tolerant gardens. The school’s gardens include student-tended, you-pick veggie gardens plus a landscape devoted to California natives.

In her own River Park garden, a UC Cooperative Extension master gardener will answer gardening questions and offer advice. Another added attraction: A garden boutique. Tom Kurth, owner of The Ruralist shop on 57th Street Antique Row, promises a selection of unique garden gifts, antiques for the garden, potted herbs and garden art.

Tour tickets are $5 each, available in advance by calling 916-454-5637 or online at
http://riverparkgardenclub.yolasite.com . On the day of the tour, tickets will be sold only at 5457 Carlson Drive, Sacramento.

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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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