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Sacramento Camellia Show moves to Elks Lodge

Top blooms are displayed at the 2018 Sacramento Camellia Show. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

This weekend, the world's largest and oldest camellia show debuts in Greenhaven venue

The world’s largest and oldest flower exhibition of its kind, the Sacramento Camellia Show, has a new home. Now it just needs blooms.

Due to renovations at Memorial Auditorium, the 95th annual Sacramento Camellia Show will be held for the first time at the Elks Lodge, 6446 Riverside Blvd., in Sacramento’s Greenhaven neighborhood.

Always held the first weekend in March, the show is open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3. Admission and parking are free.

“Parking has always been an issue (at Memorial Auditorium), but we’ll have no problem with parking this time,” said Julie Vierra, president of the Camellia Society of Sacramento. “(The Elks) are the most accommodating people. It will be a little different configuration; everything won’t be together in one room. It’s a little cozier, but we should be just fine.”

The challenge is making sure the public knows where to find them. This show annually attracts thousands of visitors, who come out in force to celebrate Sacramento’s official flower.

“The Elks host a big breakfast Sunday morning,” Vierra noted. “We’re hoping people walk right over after breakfast.”

Best of Show at the 2018 Sacramento Camellia Show went to Holy Pure,
grown by Don and Joan Lesmeister.
The move has been expensive, she added. Rent at the lodge is much higher than what the society was paying for space at Memorial, but this venue was the best option for Sacramento’s longest running flower show. And more important, the society found a way for the show to go on.

Sales of commemorative buttons, always a popular memento from this show, will help bring in donations. So will the sale of more than 200 mature camellia plants. During the show, they’ll be offered for $20 apiece. Vierra hopes the show also can attract some sponsors or other donations to help cover the increased costs.

In the Camellia City, this show is a community effort. Anyone can enter camellias, as long as they grew the flowers themselves. Experts will help novice exhibitors prepare their flowers for display and judging. Entries should be received between 7 and 10 a.m. Saturday. All entries must be in place for judging by 10:30 a.m.

In addition to thousands of blooms, the show features arrangements by the Sacramento Floral Design Guild.

“We’re thrilled to have the arrangers,” Vierra said. “We’re hoping to get a break in the rain and a big crowd, too.”


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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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