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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 . On the day of the tour, tickets will be sold only at 5457 Carlson Drive, Sacramento.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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