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Arrington, 'Garden Smart' win national award

Water-wise publication will be back in local nurseries soon

Cover of Garden Smart publication
This is the cover of Debbie's award-winning
special publication. Look for it to return to
nurseries and other sites soon.

If you don’t toot your own horn, who will? And this is a big deal: I’m a national award-winning garden writer – again.

GardenComm: Garden Communicators International (a.k.a. the national garden writers association) announced its 2022 Media Awards and I won the Silver Medal of Achievement for Best Garden Marketing Publication. The award is for my work on “Garden Smart,” a special publication that was distributed at several local nurseries last fall. This is my fourth GardenComm Media Award, but first since 2018.

And here’s more big news: “Garden Smart” will be available in print again soon.

Besides my role as co-founder/co-producer of Sacramento Digs Gardening, I’m publications editor for N&R Publications (the Sacramento News & Review people). Last year, we produced “Garden Smart” for the Regional Water Authority, the umbrella organization over our local water providers. The 16-page glossy magazine showed how to create a beautiful stress-free Sacramento-area landscape while saving time, money and water.

Read it here:

“Garden Smart” was distributed at local nursery partners including Green Acres Nursery & Supply, High Hand, Big Oak, Elderberry Farms, El Dorado, Fair Oaks Boulevard, Goude’s, Talini’s, The Plant Foundry, The Secret Garden and Thompson Building Materials & Nursery. Anderson’s Sierra Pipe Company, SiteOne Landscape Supply and Normac Irrigation also were partners. More than 10,000 copies were snatched up quickly at those locations.

Why mess with success? The Regional Water Authority has done a reprint of “Garden Smart,” and it will be back at the publication’s nursery partners soon – probably in late August.

As for the award, here’s more information from the official announcement: “Top honors in its category, this national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2022 competition had more than 165 entries in 67 categories. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the best in their category and will now compete for Gold Medals in their category.”

“The GardenComm Media Awards showcase writers, photographers, editors, videographers, social media managers, publishers, and trade companies that have demonstrated excellence in garden communications in print or electronic communications,” says Maria Zampini, president of GardenComm.

The full list of winners will be available on the GardenComm website following the 2022 Annual Honors and Awards virtual event at 11:30 a.m. PDT Oct. 15. Learn more at .


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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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