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It's bonsai time in Sacramento

Beautiful bonsai will be on exhibit at the Bonsai Sekiyu Kai show on April 6-7, one of four bonsai shows this spring. (Photo courtesy Ron Anderson.)

Four spring shows in 'City of Little Trees'

Do you love bonsai? You’re in the right place. Each spring, Sacramento hosts four bonsai shows, one for each local club. That makes Sacramento the City of Little Trees.

This bonsai extravaganza starts April 6 and 7 with the 42nd annual Bonsai Sekiyu Kai show, to be held at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, 2401 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, this show features beautiful bonsai on display, refreshments, door prizes, a raffle and silent auction.

Vendors and club members will offer plants and bonsai-related items, such as pots, tools and growing supplies.

Special guest will be Yuzo Maruyama, who will conduct demonstrations at 2 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For more information, email .

Next up will be the 60th annual spring show of the American Bonsai Association, Sacramento. On April 13 and 14, a forest of little trees will fill the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with demonstrations by Dennis Makishima at 1:30 p.m. both days. His demonstration trees will be the prize in afternoon drawings. Admission and parking are free.

Just starting bonsai? As part of this event, ABAS members will conduct a beginner workshop from 10 a.m. to noon April 14. For more information or to sign up, contact Renee Seely at (916) 929-2106, email .

Details: .

After a short break, two more shows are set for May.

On May 4 and 5, the Sacramento Bonsai Club – the nation’s oldest bonsai club – will host its 73rd annual spring show, also at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day with featured 1:30 p.m. demonstrations by Sam Adina each day.

Details: .

Wrapping up Sacramento’s spring bonsai season are the blooming azaleas of Satsuki Aikokai Association of Sacramento at its 41st annual show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 at Shepard Center. Show admission and parking are free.

Sign up for the popular “Create Your Own Azalea Bonsai” workshop, set for 11 a.m. each day; class fee is $20. Email for more details.


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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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