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See (and smell) the best roses from four states

ARS conference in Sacramento features huge rose show; plus hear Debbie talk roses and horses

Rose fans take time to smell the flowers at a previous show. The district-wide rose show this weekend will feature the best rose exhibitors from four states.

Rose fans take time to smell the flowers at a previous show. The district-wide rose show this weekend will feature the best rose exhibitors from four states. Courtesy Peninsula Rose Society

It’s time to smell some champion roses – and learn more about America’s favorite flower.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, Sacramento hosts the Northern California Nevada Hawaii district conference for the American Rose Society. Representatives from dozens of rose societies from four states (southern Oregon is also part of NCNH) will gather at Wyndham Hotel on Date at Madison avenues, just off Interstate 80.

Highlighting the conference: A district-wide rose show featuring the best rose exhibitors from four states. The rose show is open free to the public from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Besides the seriousness of the competition, what makes this show so unusual: Lots of challenge classes. Those are special classes where exhibitors must meet certain goals, such as multiple matching perfect blooms.

A large rose photo contest and arrangements competition also are part of the district rose show. Come see autumn roses in all their beauty.

In addition to the show, the conference features several speakers, but those talks are only open to those with conference registration ($80 for speakers only). Registration is open until 10 a.m. Saturday at the host hotel.

Saturday’s speakers include Debbie Arrington of Sacramento Digs Gardening. A master rosarian and longtime turf writer, Debbie will present “Thoroughbred Roses: The Queen of Flowers and the Sport of Kings” – a look at roses and racing connections. Her talk will start at 11 a.m.

First speaker of the day is Gwen Quail, past president of the Butte Rose Society, who will discuss “Fragrance: From Your Rose to Your Nose” at 10 a.m. She’ll discuss how chemistry and botany influence our perception of flower fragrance.

At 2 p.m., award-winning author and NPR show host Jennifer Jewell will present “Cultivating Place: Cultivating a Garden Culture of Care and Roses.” Her talk will focus how individual gardeners can be agents for change, one backyard at a time. The popular garden writer also will sign copies of her latest book, “What We Sow.”

At 3 p.m., Jacqui Nye will teach how to take better photos with your cellphone in “From Snapshots to Wow Shots.”

Wyndham Hotel is located at 5321 Date Ave., Sacramento.

Details and forms: www.ncnhdistrict.org.

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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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