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Hear dozens of local speakers at SF Flower & Garden Show

The San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is known for its designer gardens and full speaker schedule.
(Photo: Courtesy San Francisco Flower and Garden Show)
In Cal Expo debut, huge event will feature Sacramento experts

Appropriate for its new venue, the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show will reap plenty of Sacramento area expertise when it opens Thursday, March 21, at Cal Expo.

Appearing on three different stages, dozens of local garden experts fill the show’s four-day seminar and speaker schedule. Kicking things off are radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman (“Spring into a Heathy Garden”), floral designer Andrew Nguyen (“California Flowers and Color of the Year”) and Sacramento Digs Gardening’s Debbie Arrington (“Best Roses for Northern California”) at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Among the speakers expected to draw a crowd are:

* Plant explorer and author Dan Hinkley (“Making Windcliff,” 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and “The Dry Lush,” 11 a.m. Sunday);

* Celebrity garden designer and longtime HGTV host
Ahmed Hassan (“New Trends in Landscape Design,” 2:45 p.m. Saturday);

* Designer Kent Gordon England (“Butterflies, Blooms and Bees,” 1:30 p.m. Friday, and “Glass Houses, the History and Joy of Owning a Green House,” 12:15 p.m. Saturday);

* Famed UC Davis storyteller and garden guide Warren Roberts (“UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens,” 4 p.m. Saturday).

* Native plant expert Christina Lewis (“How Gardening with Native Plants Helps You and the Environment,” 12:30 p.m. Thursday);

* Garden curator Anita Clevenger (“Gardens of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery,” 11 a.m. Friday);

* Seed saver and writer/photo journalist Charlie Costello (“Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More on Tomatoes,” 12:15 p.m. Friday);

* Sacramento urban farmer Chanowk Yisrael (“Homesteading,” 11 a.m. Saturday);

* UC Davis plant expert Marlene Simon (“Garden Myth or Rooted in Science?,” 11 a.m. Saturday);

* Fair Oaks Boulevard Nursery guru Quentyn Young (“Unusual Edibles for Northern California,” 12:15 p.m. Saturday); and

* After his Sunday morning radio broadcasts, Hoffman also will present “Building the Good Bug Hotel” at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Besides full days of speakers, patrons also will find spectacular garden, bonsai and floral displays plus scores of vendors, plant marketplace, hands-on workshops and much more. Get advice; UC Cooperative Extension master gardeners and other experts will staff information tables. Several workshops such as planting edibles and making bouquets are planned for kids.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cal Expo is located at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. For the full schedule and tickets: .

- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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