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Sacramento clubhouse gets special honor


The Shepard Center in McKinley Park was built in 1958 and hosts many city clubs. (Photo courtesy Shepard Garden and Arts Center.)

City names Shepard Garden and Arts Center historic landmark



Sacramento's clubhouse has a new honor: It's officially a historic landmark.

Shepard Garden and Arts Center, the home of many Sacramento clubs for 60 years, is already beloved by the hundreds of people who meet there regularly.

Late Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council named Shepard Center a "Sacramento Historic Landmark," which gives the building some added distinction as well as protections.

Also named to the landmark list Tuesday were Gunther's Ice Cream, the Freeport Chase Bank building and the Sacramento County Courthouse. These additions all represent mid-century modern design in a city full of history.

Named for longtime Sacramento Bee garden columnist Iva Gard Shepard (who served as the center's president for many years), the center is owned by the City of Sacramento, but operated by its own nonprofit board with support from Friends of the Center.

Built in 1958 in the McKinley Park annex, the center was designed by Raymond Franceschi and was a stark contrast to the surrounding Craftsman cottages and Mission Revival mansions. Considered a mid-century masterpiece, the center combined stone, wood and glass in a dramatic A-frame with a butterfly wing extending over a large patio.

In its 60th year, the center has received some much needed TLC. Club members pitched in to re-do the big blue entrance sign, which had started to rot away. Led by Daisy Mah, new theme gardens are being planted in the beds surrounding the building.

Looking for a hobby? Interested in specific kinds of gardening or plants? The center hosts about 30  clubs, all looking for new members. Contact information and meeting times are available on the center's website.

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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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