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Holiday home tours are back this weekend and next

See beautiful decorations and help some good causes

Gorgeous decorations will be on view during the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour. Tours also will be held in Woodland and Loomis.

Gorgeous decorations will be on view during the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour. Tours also will be held in Woodland and Loomis. Courtesy Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour

One of Sacramento’s favorite seasonal traditions, the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour, celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend, Dec. 1-3, in East Sacramento’s Fabulous Forties neighborhood.

Two other home tours also are on the calendar in the region: Woodland’s Dickens in the Valley Home Tour this Saturday, Dec. 2, and the Loomis Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 9.

All three events feature self-guided tours of beautifully decorated homes. Advance tickets are suggested for Sacramento and Woodland – there’s a price break for buying ahead of time. The Loomis tour tickets must be purchased in advance; ticket prices increase Dec. 8, and no tickets will be sold at the homes' doors.

The Holiday Home Tour of East Sacramento began in 1973 as a fundraiser for Sacred Heart Parish School. All proceeds from this year’s event, organizers note, help to offset tuition costs and offer assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to afford a Catholic education.

The tour features five homes, which each can be visited once at any time during the tour hours: noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets are sold online: $40 general and $35 for seniors 65 and older. Children ages 3 and older must have their own ticket. 

On tour days, tickets can be purchased at Sacred Heart School: $45 general and $40 seniors.. The school is located at 856 39th St. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. They may also be purchased on the tour.

The Sacred Heart event also includes a cafe – with sandwiches, soup, snacks, hot drinks and a champagne bar – and  a boutique featuring more than 30 vendors.

The Dickens in the Valley Holiday Home Tour, presented by Friends of Meals on Wheels, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 2. Advance tickets are $30; day of tour the cost will be $40. Five homes are on the tour, and visitors are encouraged to start at any one of them. A list of the addresses is available on the Eventbrite ticket site.

The 14th Annual Loomis Holiday Home Tour features six decorated Placer County homes, open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9. The tour benefits the Loomis Basin Education Foundation, which supports science and art programs in Loomis schools. Tickets are $45 until Dec. 8, when the price increases; the tour is open to ages 12 and older only.

The event includes a holiday boutique (open until 3 p.m.) at the H. Clarke Powers School gym, catered lunch ($25), an art contest and, at 12:15 p.m., a performance by Loomis student choir members. A special private evening tour and VIP reception, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., is also offered as part of the Loomis event. Tickets are $100, also available online. 

For more nformation, visit https://www.loomisholiday.com/. All tour and lunch tickets may be purchased here: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/lbef/820104

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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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