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Santa alert! The Plant Foundry hosts holiday open house

Dog adoptions, music and more at special event in Oak Park

At The Plant Foundry, Aretha the cat recently supervised the opening of the Christmas tree lot. She now is ready to greet Santa and all visitors to the nursery's Holiday Open House this Saturday.

At The Plant Foundry, Aretha the cat recently supervised the opening of the Christmas tree lot. She now is ready to greet Santa and all visitors to the nursery's Holiday Open House this Saturday. Photo courtesy The Plant Foundry

Santa is coming to Oak Park and so are some furry friends. At this holiday stop, they’ll be surrounded by happy gardeners and lots of beautiful plants.

The Plant Foundry, Oak Park’s neighborhood urban nursery, is hosting its annual Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Admission is free.

After a Covid hiatus, this Sacramento tradition returns with all the holiday trappings including a visit by Santa Claus, raffles and festive music provided by DJ Jammin’ Jo. Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa, cider and cookies.

Need a new friend? Four adoptable dogs from 4R Friends, aka the Street Vets, will meet and greet patrons.

Got Felco tools? A Felco representative will be there to sharpen pruners, loppers and more.

A large fluffy car asleep inside a cedar wreath
"Awreatha" also has inspected cedar wreaths.

In advance of the open house, The Plant Foundry’s Christmas tree lot is already open. As always, it’s supervised by Aretha, the store cat, who has her eye on some cedar wreaths.

Besides an excellent selection of bare-root fruit trees and perennials, The Plant Foundry has a wide range of gift ideas for gardeners and plant lovers. Check out its assortment at its online store: https://www.plantfoundry.com/store/.

The Plant Foundry is located at 3500 Broadway, Sacramento.

For more details on the open house and other special events: https://www.facebook.com/plantfoundry

-- Debbie Arrington

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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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