A city of gardeners

Roses are in bloom at the Historic City Cemetery, and there's an open garden on April 13. (Photo by Debbie Arrington)

We are a community of gardeners. Our love of growing things is greater than our passion for politics or sports, and unites us in ways neither of those topics can match. Gardening brings us together.

I’ve been preaching that gardening gospel for a long time. Now, I have a new audience.

Why would SN&R want to run a local gardening column? Because Sacramento really does dig gardening.

Local gardeners care about local gardening news and events as well as gardening, itself. That’s why Kathy Morrison and I chose “Sacramento Digs Gardening” for the name of our blog. We’ve written at least one post a day since June 1; more than 300 local gardening news items.

Why is local garden news important? By nature, all gardening is local; it’s dependent on the growing conditions right here, right now. Advice from some other state often is just plain wrong. Local gardeners need a dependable local resource.

We’re also a very busy gardening community. Sacramento has four Bonsai clubs (most cities don’t have one) and a wide assortment of longstanding organizations devoted to favorite flora: roses, perennials, irises, orchids, rare fruit, carnivorous plants, fuchsias, geraniums, African violets and many more.

Celebrating its 95th year in March, the Sacramento Camellia Show is the world’s largest and oldest of its kind.

Gardening goes way beyond club activities; it’s part of our daily lives. About half of all Sacramento area residents consider gardening a hobby, or at least something they do on a regular basis. That’s according to a decade of reader interest surveys. We take pride in our home-grown tomatoes and backyard oranges (and we worry about the latest bad bugs that might attack either one). In the Farm-to-Fork capital, we reap the bounty of our own little micro-farms. We can grow almost anything in Sacramento, and we like to take full advantage of that opportunity.

As usual, we’re on the leading edge of a national trend. According to the National Gardening Association, more Americans are gardening now than ever before. And it’s not just us aging baby boomers, though we are leading the way. One in five newbie gardeners are under age 30.

Why do we garden? Relaxation, bees and butterflies, food safety concerns; our reasons are as personal as our favorite flowers.

After a very wet winter, April flowers grab our attention. If you don’t already have spring fever, these events will get you inspired:

Open Garden, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., April 13, Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. See and smell the cemetery’s world-famous rose garden, “a living library of old garden roses” at their peak. Take some home, too, during this event’s sale of rare roses, cloned from the cemetery collection. Admission is free.

72nd annual Sacramento Orchid Show and Sale, 10 a.m. -5 p.m., April 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 14, Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Enjoy hundreds of exotic plants in bloom. Admission, $10, children under 12, free.

60th annual American Bonsai Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 13 and 14, Shepard Garden and Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento. Find a forest of little trees, masterfully grown to stay that way. Admission is free.

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1 Comment on "A city of gardeners"

  1. This is obviously a last breath gasp for those sweet garden Ad dollars. #thegreenrevolution

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