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Wanted: Local garden clubs for big show

Spectacular garden designs will be part of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, to be held at Cal Expo.
(Photos: Courtesy San Francisco Flower and Garden Show)
At Cal Expo, San Francisco Flower and Garden Show offers free space to non-profits

Garden clubs are always looking for new members. New gardeners can always use some expert help. Here’s a chance for both to find each other while enjoying one of the best flower and garden shows in California.

Cal Expo in Sacramento for the first time , the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is offering free space for any local non-profit garden club that wants it. Here’s the catch: The club has to staff its information table all four days of the show: March 21 through 24.

That’s next week, which means there’s not much time to organize volunteers – or to delay if a club wants to take this great opportunity.

“We are providing any non-profit (garden organization) that can participate all four days of the show free space as a community outreach,” show owner Sherry Larsen said.

Thousands of show patrons are expected to flow past the garden club area at this event, so it’s a wonderful chance for exposure. Benefitting show goers, these local experts can provide advice to gardeners. For example, the Sacramento County master gardeners are scheduled to staff a table.

Show hours will be: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 24. Interested clubs should contact as soon as possible.

Floral arrangements are a popular part of this show.
Tickets are on sale now for this 34th annual event, which moved from the Cow Palace to Cal Expo after a scheduling issue. Besides hundreds of vendors, the show features spectacular garden designs, amazing floral arrangements, dozens of speakers and a gigantic orchid market.

Details: .

- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* 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.

* 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 eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* 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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