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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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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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