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See three-day celebration of succulents, cacti

Sacramento group hosts huge show and sale at Shepard Center

Cactus and succulent gardening has never been more popular. Expect to see many types of these plants during the three-day show this weekend.

Cactus and succulent gardening has never been more popular. Expect to see many types of these plants during the three-day show this weekend. Photo courtesy Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society

This show is so big, it takes three days.

Starting Friday, May 5, the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society presents its 63rd annual show and sale at Shepard Garden and Arts Center. All weekend, the center will be packed with unusual succulents and cacti with hundreds of plants available to take home.

“The show will not be judged; instead, we encourage club members at all levels to enter their plants to showcase the amazing variety of succulents,” say the organizers.

Succulents have never been more popular, especially with younger or newbie gardeners. These naturally water-wise plants make an excellent addition to any drought-tolerant garden. They’re also perfect for container gardens and sought after as living collectibles.

But where to find new or unusual varieties? This sale is the place!

Organizers expect 21 vendors at their show and sale, including some who have not made it to Sacramento since before the pandemic. Not only will plants be available but all sorts of plant-friendly ceramics and pottery.

“Jim Smith, with his great Haworthia hybrids, will be back with many more plants than when he was last here in 2021,” say the organizers. “Austin and Mel, from the Public Land store on 21st street in Sacramento, will be here for the first time. They will have much more for sale than they carry in their small store. Stan Verkler will be back after missing last year. Nick Wilkinson, owner of Grow Nursery in Cambria, will be back after several years away. We will also have a carnivorous plant vendor.

“That’s just scratching the surface,” they add. “Also selling will be Annie Wolf of Desert Wonders, Bill Munkacsy of Planta Seca, Cassidy Roberts-Yee of Radiant Cactus, David Calibo of Gardener’s Home, J.D. Wikert, John Bloss of JC Succulents, Naomi Bloss of California Succulents, Keith Taylor of Kitoi Pottery, Kal Kaminer, Lesley Shores & Jerry Slater of L & J Plants, Mike Cone with his pottery, Mark Muradian with his pottery, Martin Gil with his pottery, Oahn Vu of Green Gemini Cactus, Peter Beiersdorfer & Jaan Lepson of P. B. & J. Cacti and Succulents, Peter Walkowiak of PW Plants, and Richard & Emily Withers of Dry Creek Cactus and Pottery and Ekishi Pottery.”

Show hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, at the north end of McKinley Park.

Details: http://www.sacramentocss.com.

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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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