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Cymbidium orchid auction open to public

Sacramento Valley Cymbidium Society offers beautiful plants grown by members

Cymbidiums love living outdoors in Sacramento. They thrive in bright, filtered shade.

Cymbidiums love living outdoors in Sacramento. They thrive in bright, filtered shade. Debbie Arrington

Here’s a chance to take home some exquisite outdoor orchids while helping a local club.

On Wednesday, June 28, the Sacramento Valley Cymbidium Society will host its annual orchid auction and end of season celebration at Shepard Garden and Arts Center. The public is invited. Admission and parking are free.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Get there early to register for the auction.

Under club rules, only SVCS members can bid in the auction. Not a member? Not a problem! New members can join at the door.

SVCS president Jeff Trimble, a renowned orchid judge, will serve as auctioneer. The plants to be auctioned were grown and donated by local club members. All sales benefit the society and help the club cope with rising rent and other costs. (Checks or cash, please.)

Since the plants were locally grown, these cymbidiums should be well acclimated to life in Sacramento.

Cymbidium orchids are among the easiest to grow and get to rebloom. Native to the foothills of the Himalayas, they can take some cold (but not frost) as well as heat. They love living outdoors most of the year in Sacramento and thrive in our climate. After plants spend a summer outside, cold nights in fall spur the development of new flower spikes.

The key to cymbidium success: Water, light and nutrients. They need frequent watering during their summer growing season and prefer bright shade with filtered sun. Direct, full sun will burn their leaves.

Learn a lot more during Wednesday’s meeting and auction.

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

For more details:, or email


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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