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This Thanksgiving Day offers 'Promise'

Pink Promise rose is the star of the garden today. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Pretty pink rose an inspiration after two weeks of smoke

Blue skies! Clean air!

There's much to be thankful for today in Sacramento, including the best air quality in two weeks. According to the Sacramento region air quality districts, Sacramento will have good air throughout the Thanksgiving weekend.

After particulate matter hit an unhealthy 151 Wednesday on the Air Quality Index, Sacramento's forecast called for 50 Thursday and 46 Friday -- both in the "green" on the AQI scale.

As for rain, Sacramento received .37 inches as of 7 a.m. Thursday in this first wave of storms, with up to another inch expected Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Our gardens appreciated that moisture, the most rain to fall in one 24-hour period since May. The storms also washed off a considerable amount of accumulated ash, a byproduct of the Camp Fire near Chico.
Pink Promise is front and center in this
Thanksgiving bouquet.

How did plants cope with two weeks of intensely smoky skies? Judging by my roses, very well, thank you. The light-colored blooms showed no traces of pollutants or smoke taint. They smelled like roses, not mesquite.

Particularly lovely today is a hybrid tea named Pink Promise. Originally released as a fundraiser for breast cancer research, this delicately pink rose also has come to symbolize hope.

This Thanksgiving, it's never looked lovelier.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

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

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

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

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

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

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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