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The Plant Foundry hosts Holiday Open House


The Plant Foundry has transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. (Photos courtesy The Plant Foundry)

Oak Park nursery and garden store celebrates season in style



In just four years, The Plant Foundry in Sacramento's Oak Park has become a holiday destination, especially for gardeners.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the popular nursery and garden-minded gift store hosts its fourth annual Holiday Open House.

"We are happy to be celebrating our fourth Christmas in Oak Park at our annual Open House," said owner Angela Pratt. "The event is all day from 9 to 5. Beers in Sac will be running their beer/wine/craft cocktail bar, Yolanda’s Tamales will be selling fresh, hot tamales, and we’ll have a live holiday jazz guitar performance by local guitarist Doug Pauly from 1 to 3 p.m.

"We’re also expecting a visit from Santa!"

Rain or shine, the special event includes stuff for the whole family, including kids and canines.
"This is a family-friendly and dog-friendly event," Pratt said.

Complimentary hot cocoa, cider and candy canes will be offered. Also, 4 R Friends: The Street Vets, an animal rescue group dedicated to bringing veterinary care to under-served neighborhoods, will have an information table and more special guests.
The gift shop at the "urban nursery" has many unusual items.

"You'll get to meet some of their sweet pups," Pratt said.

The Plant Foundry has an excellent selection of fresh-cut Christmas trees including some Sierra-grown Silvertips. Sizes range from tabletop 2-footers up to about 9 feet.

"The bulk of our trees come from a family farm in snowy Mossyrock, Washington," Pratt said. "Varieties include Cultured Nobles, Natural Nobles, Fraser fir, Nordmann fir, Douglas fir, and Grand fir.

"We’re also very excited to offer California-grown Silvertips," she added. "Ours come from family-farmed land in the high Sierra.

"All of our trees are freshly cut and in water while they are on our lot," Pratt said. "We also sell fresh wreaths, and fresh garland is available by the foot."
Christmas decor and cards are now in the shop.

Patrons will find plenty of unusual items to put on -- and under -- that tree as well as decorate the whole house, inside and out.

Said Pratt, "Don’t miss our Holiday Gift Shop, which is filled to the brim with ornaments, poinsettias, Christmas cacti, cyclamen, unique pottery, bulbs for forcing and gifting, budding and blooming orchid plants direct from Hawaii, and great gifts for plant lovers of all ages. "

Located at 3500 Broadway, Plant Foundry continues to expand its offerings year round.

"We’re still aiming to fill the organic and artisan niche at our urban nursery," Pratt said. "We continue to buy from our favorite growers and vendors, and are always on the lookout for new and unique plants, products and gifts."

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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