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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: www.sgaac.org.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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