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Arrington wins GardenComm Gold Medal

Garden Smart magazine earns top honors in international competition

The Garden Smart magazine is still available online for Sacramento-area gardeners.

The Garden Smart magazine is still available online for Sacramento-area gardeners.

Regional Water Authority

Add another accolade to our gardening resume. Debbie Arrington, co-creator of Sacramento Digs Gardening, received a 2022 Media Awards’ Gold Medal of Achievement for best garden writing in a marketing publication, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.
Announced at the group’s recent virtual conference, this international 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 Gold Medal represent the best in their category.

Arrington received the Gold Medal of Achievement for “Garden Smart,” a 16-page magazine she produced for the Regional Water Authority that focused on the beautiful and easy-care side of water-wise gardening. The magazine earlier won a Silver Award from the same organization, making it a finalist for a writing Gold Medal.

Distributed in local nurseries, Garden Smart is still available online. Read it here:

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.

This was Arrington’s second Gold Medal and fifth award overall from GardenComm, previously the Garden Writers Association.

Since the early 1980s, the GardenComm Media Awards program has recognized outstanding writing, photography, graphic design and illustration for books, newspaper stories, magazine articles and other works focused on gardening.

The full list of winners are available on the GardenComm website 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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