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Murer House in Folsom hosts ninth annual Camellia Day

Feb. 24 event includes blossom show, tours and speaker Greg Gayton

This Kramer's Supreme camellia already is blooming ahead of the Sacramento-area camellia festivities in the next few weeks.

This Kramer's Supreme camellia already is blooming ahead of the Sacramento-area camellia festivities in the next few weeks. Debbie Arrington

Camellias are coming out early this month in Sacramento – which means it’s time to celebrate the city’s official flower.

The first big camellia party actually happens in Folsom: Camellia Day at the Murer House and Gardens.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, the Murer House will host its ninth annual Camellia Day with a blossom show, self-guided tours and special speaker – Green Acres garden guru Greg Gayton.

“The public is invited to share and show single blossoms and arrangements,” say the organizers. “Ribbons will be awarded for People’s Choice and other categories.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., see dozens of beautiful camellias and get expert advice on how to grow your own. Members of the Camellia Society of Sacramento will be on hand to identify camellia varieties and offer tips on camellia care.

There is no charge to attend, tour Murer House or enter the camellia contest. Entries for the blossom show will be received from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Feb. 24. For information, contact Rhonda DesVoignes, bdesvoignes@comcast.net, or call the Murer House at 916-413-9231.

The Murer House and Gardens are located at 1125 Joe Murer Court, in historic Folsom, across Folsom Boulevard near historic Sutter Street. The home was built by Guiseppe Murer, an Italian immigrant who purchased the site in 1921 and constructed the home in 1925.

Details and directions: https://murerhousefoundation.org/.

And don’t forget: The Camellia Society will host its 100th annual Sacramento Camellia Show and sale March 2 and 3 at a new location – the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. (More to come soon on that milestone event.)

Editor's note to newsletter subscribers: The dates listed in Thursday's post for the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club's two-day sale were slightly off: The sale will be Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, not April 13-14. The post has been corrected. 

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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