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Delta society hosts gesneriad, African violet show and sale

Find hundreds of indoor plants in rare varieties at Shepard Center event

This beautiful specimen is an example of the African violets that will be on display this weekend.

This beautiful specimen is an example of the African violets that will be on display this weekend. Photo courtesy Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society

They rank among Sacramento’s favorite indoor flowering plants, beloved by collectors for generations.

And this weekend, they’re in the local gardening spotlight.

On Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 16 and 17), the Delta Gesneriad and African Violet Society will host its annual show and sale at Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see these blooming plants at their peak of beauty – and take some home, too.

African violets are the best-known gesneriads, which includes more than 1,500 species. Also popular are gloxinias, cape primroses, kohlerias, episcias and achimenes. All these tropical plants make themselves at home indoors and produce striking flowers in a rainbow of hues.

Besides their attractive flowers, gesneriads also are known for their interesting foliage. Specimen plants can live for decades. This show will have several examples of how gorgeous these plants can be.

In addition at this event, the club offers hundreds of young plants for sale including dozens of rare varieties unavailable from local nurseries. It’s a fantastic opportunity to add to your own indoor jungle. Come early for best selection.

Get advice, too. Several club members will be on hand to offer advice on repotting older plants and violet care.

Show and sale hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento.

Details and directions:



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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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