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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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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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