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Take a summer morning ramble amid native plants

Registration required for free event Aug. 6

The coffeeberry, another name for California buckthorn, is a native shrub that can be found in several habitats around the state.

The coffeeberry, another name for California buckthorn, is a native shrub that can be found in several habitats around the state. Photo courtesy Beth Savidge

What does a garden of California native plants look like in summer? Patricia Carpenter, a Garden Ambassador for the California Native Plant Society, invites visitors to come find out during the Seasonal Summer Ramble at her garden near Davis.

The 1-acre native garden will be open to visitors 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 6. The event is free but registration is required here. The non-native garden will be open to view as well.

Highlights of a summer ramble:
• See how plants adapt to heat and drought. Also, irrigation strategies.
• View summer blooms.
• Observe seasonal maintenance, seed collecting, and discuss plans for fall planting.

The Miridae Mobile Nursery will be on site for sales to anyone inspired to add more native plants to their garden.

Visitors can attend an optional short orientation and Q&A gathering with Patricia at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Meet near the check-in table.

Carpenter's garden is south of Russell Boulevard, west of Davis, at Pierce Ranch Road. A map link is available on the registration page.

Although masks are optional, visitors are asked to please respect distancing and mask wearing of other visitors. Wearing sturdy shoes is advised. No dogs, please.

Visitors are welcome to bring a snack to enjoy during the morning. A composting toilet available onsite.

To learn more about Carpenter's Garden Ambassadorship and her garden, visit the CNPS website here.


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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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