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Find hundreds of unusual African violets at sale

Capital City hosts annual event including display of prized plants

This beauty is a Rob's Boolaroo, a winner at a previous African violet show.

This beauty is a Rob's Boolaroo, a winner at a previous African violet show.

Debbie Arrington

Houseplants have never been so popular. That includes a familiar favorite: African violets.

Today’s African violets aren’t plain old purple. They come in a dazzling array of patterns, shapes and colors – making them a most collectible houseplant.

Build your African violet collection with just one stop at the annual Capital City African Violet Society sale at Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park.

On Saturday, April 1, find hundreds of rare and unusual varieties, many not available at local nurseries. They’re priced to sell quickly; get there early for best selection. The sale is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until all the plants are sold. Admission and parking are free.

In addition to the sale, the society is hosting a beautiful display of members’ prized African violets in their peak of bloom. Patrons can see some of the eye-catching varieties also offered in the sale.

This event is always a wonderful spot to get advice about growing African violets, among the most beloved houseplants. Society members can show how to repot an overgrown plant and other care tips to prompt more blooms.

The club also offers supplies for growing African violets and other flowering houseplants.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Details and directions:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, 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.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* 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.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* 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.

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