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Be inspired by variety of gardening styles in Colonial Heights tour

Sunday event also features plant and seed swap, vendors and kid-oriented activities

Gardens of many styles will be on display Sunday during the Colonial Heights Garden Tour.

Gardens of many styles will be on display Sunday during the Colonial Heights Garden Tour. Courtesy Colonial Heights Neighborhood Association

Eleven private gardens plus four "unhosted points of interest" highlight the annual Colonial Heights Garden Tour, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, May 5.

The Colonial Heights neighborhood, east of Stockton Boulevard between 14th and 22nd avenues, was established in 1910, making it one of Sacramento's oldest subdivisions. Early residents took streetcars to downtown Sacramento for work and shopping. Today, the tree-lined streets include gardens in a variety of styles.

"One of the standout features of our neighborhood tour is that, across a diversity of gardening styles and aesthetics, hosts have largely done their own garden design and installation" say the organizers. "If you are looking for ideas to go home and implement in your own yard, this is not a tour to miss!"

Gardens on the tour include edible landscapes, highly ornamental spaces, and multi-functional gardens that combine food growing, native plants, and elements such as a laundry-to-landscape greywater irrigation system, organizers note.  The "unhosted points of interest" are front or side gardens that can be viewed from the street.

Colonial Park at 19th Avenue and 54th Street will be the activity center of the tour; check-in will be located there, and day-of tickets will be available. When they check in, tour participants will receive a program with descriptions of the gardens, accessibility notes for each site, and a map. All the gardens are within walking or biking distance of one another and the check-in site.

The park also will be the site of a seed and plant swap, plant vendors and food vendors, as well as face painting for the kids.

Tickets are $10 (for a digital program) or $12 (for a printed program); children and youths age 16 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Garden-themed activities for children are also available free of charge. 

Details and online tickets:


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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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