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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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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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