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Shop for indoor beauties at annual African violet sale

Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society offers huge selection of unusual houseplants

These charmers were winners at an earlier show.

These charmers were winners at an earlier show.

Debbie Arrington

When it’s too hot to garden outdoors, our gardening attention turns to the kitchen counter – and African violets. Who can resist these little charmers?

On Saturday, Sept. 17, shop for rare and unusual African violets and their close cousin gesneriads at the annual Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society show and sale at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday – or until all the plants are sold. Admission and parking are free.

This event is an opportunity to invite the public the share in the club’s enthusiasm as, the society explains, “we celebrate our skills and love of these unique and gorgeous plants for all to see!”

See the newest exotic cultivars as well as beloved favorites. Club members will be on hand to answer questions and give advice on violet care.

At this annual sale, the club will offer hundreds of beautiful plants at bargain prices.  Great for beginners as well as longtime indoor gardeners, these African violets and gesneriads are unusual varieties that can’t be found in local nurseries. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow your indoor plant collection.

Get African violet supplies, too. Bring cash or check.

For more details:

-- Debbie Arrington


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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* 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.

* 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 eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* 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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