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Cemetery rose garden comes to life

The Historic Rose Garden sale catalog includes Mutabilis, also called the butterfly rose. The catalog includes plot numbers so you can visit the roses ahead of time, perhaps while on the March 30 tour. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Enjoy spring bloom Saturday, then plan to take some roses home next month

March coaxes out the first roses of spring – especially at Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery. See for yourself during a special free walking tour, “Spring Beauties Awaken.”

Set for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30, this guided walk through the cemetery’s world-famous gardens focuses on the first flowers of this new season, particularly in the Heritage Rose Garden. Home to hundreds of rare and fragrant old garden roses, the cemetery garden features some gigantic bushes and climbers that soon will be covered with thousands of blooms. For example, one Lady Banks rose climbs 60 feet up a pine tree.

Hear the stories behind these roses and smell their fabulous fragrances. You may discover a new favorite.

Patrons should meet at the cemetery’s main gate, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. Parking is available on surface streets. Wear sensible shoes to traverse the cemetery’s gravel paths.

This walk is a prelude to the cemetery’s annual Open Garden, set for April 13-14. As part of that major event, rose garden volunteers will host their annual auction and sale of roses propagated from the cemetery’s collection, considered among the finest anywhere.

A catalog of roses that will be offered for sale is now available online. Find it at:

Details on the walking tour and open garden: .


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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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