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Learn about beekeeping; shop for summer flowers

Sacramento Perennial Plant Club hosts honey expert and plant sale

Sunflower blossom with bee
Bees and sunflowers are a natural match. Learn about bees
from Frank Lienert and buy sunflowers (and other plants) at
the meeting of the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)

Feel the buzz! Learn about beekeeping – and the importance of pollinators – from one of the Sacramento Valley’s best-known beekeeping families.

Set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at Shepard Center, the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club hosts Frank Lienert of Lienert’s Honey. He’ll discuss the life cycle of honeybees and beekeeping. The public is welcome; admission and parking are free.

Lienert’s father started beekeeping more than 60 years ago in Davis. One hive – purchased from Sears & Roebuck to pollinate a boysenberry patch – turned into a full-time family business. With about 10 different varietals (clover, orange blossom, sage, etc.), Lienert’s Honey can be found at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. (For more information, see .)

Help the bees in your own landscape – and add some summer color, too! At this same meeting, the Perennial Plant Club will hold a summer plant sale.

Say the organizers, “Locally grown and selected to add color and floral zing to our summer gardens as well as food for our pollinators, (the sale includes) Ageratum, Black-Eyed Susan, Calendula, Cosmos, Gomphrena, Strawflower, Sunflower, Tithonia, Zinnia, Feverfew, Foxglove and Hollyhock plants. They also make great cut flowers. ” (Good timing, too: This week is National Pollinator Week.)

Annuals are priced $2 each or three for $5. Perennials are $3 each or two for $5. Bring your own box or bag to take home your purchases. Cash only.

Come early and bring your pruners that need sharpening or containers that need holes; at 6:30 p.m., tool sharpening and pottery drilling will be available for a donation.

Shepard Garden and Arts Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park.

Details: .


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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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