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Perennial Plant Club hosts huge spring sale and celebration

Find member-grown perennials, natives, succulents, vegetables, herbs and more

The historic Azevedo-Moll tank house in South Natomas will be open for tours during the Perennial Plant Club sale on the site.

The historic Azevedo-Moll tank house in South Natomas will be open for tours during the Perennial Plant Club sale on the site. Kathy Morrison

Spring has everybody’s green thumbs itching for action. But what to plant?

The Sacramento Perennial Plant Club has hundreds of suggestions as it hosts its annual spring sale Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, in South Natomas. The Natomas Garden & Arts Collective is co-sponsor of the two-day event.

Find California natives, succulents, perennials, vegetables (including lots of tomatoes), herbs and many other plants – all grown by local club members. “Our amazing, hard-working propagators are supplying sun-to-shade loving perennials, natives, veggies, spring-blooming bulbs and more!” say the organizers.

The sale will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days on the grounds of the historic Azevedo-Moll House, 1911 Bannon Creek Drive, South Natomas, Sacramento. Admission is free and open to the public.

During the event visitors can tour the restored tank house on the property. Tours also will be given of the nearby Grassland Garden Pollinator Habitat Project at specific times: 12:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. 

Also during the sale "Stan the Tool Man" will offer kitchen and garden tool sharpening, plus container drilling (holes for pots for those new plants, for example). Glass and yard art will be for sale, and food vendors will offer cinnamon rolls and pierogies. Accompanying all this activity will be Native American flute music.

Some of the rare plants available are particular favorites of club members. For example, Patricia Carpenter grew variegated figwort for the sale. “It is very showy in her garden and often weaves through other plants,” say the organizers. “She uses the leaves in cut bouquets. Its reddish flowers are small and interesting.”

Daisy Mah propagated a pale pink hollyhock gifted to her by fellow club member Therese Ruth along with a back story: The original seedling had been abandoned after a Shepard Center sale and planted next to the center’s parking lot, where it bloomed for six months. Daisy named the hollyhock ‘Shepard’s Pink.’

Looking for natives? For this sale, Marla McLaren grew Woolly Indian Paintbrush, a beautiful low-water native that thrives in her garden. “It provides winter color and is a late winter/spring source of food for butterfly and moth pollinators,” say the organizers. Lorraine Van Kekerix contributed her beloved Douglas iris, which thrives in shady spots with limited summer water.

Abutilon lovers will find a whole forest of flowering maples including ‘Lucky Lantern Yellow,’ grown by LaVille Logan. It’s a dwarf variety that stays under 2 feet tall and wide, thrives in partial shade and attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds.

Details: https://sacplants.org/.

-- Kathy Morrison contributed to this post

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Garden Checklist for week of June 16

Summer officially starts Thursday. The good news: No triple-digits – at least until next weekend.

* Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden, with tomatoes and squash enjoying the heat. Deep-water, then feed with a balanced fertilizer. Bone meal or rock phosphate can spur the bloom cycle and help set fruit.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, melons, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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