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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: What drought? Harvest looks great

This looks like a bountiful summer. In backyards and orchards throughout the Sacramento area, fruit trees are covered with ripening plums and peaches. Limbs hang extra heavy with unexpectedly large crops.

Don’t these trees know there’s a drought?

Apparently, they do. This is just another way nature...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: State Fair shows water-wise awareness

Before the State Fair opened its gates Friday, visitors to Cal Expo already were noticing the drought-minded changes this summer.

“The grass on Exposition Boulevard is looking pretty sorry,” said Sonya Logman, Cal Expo’s external affairs director. “Actually, we’ve gotten phone calls – ‘Hey, you’ve got some sprinklers broken – your...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Lonely Bouquets to brighten Greater Sacramento on Sunday

How would you react if you found a bouquet of fresh flowers?

It’s not quite like the “Hidden Cash” craze, but such a find is its own kind of unique treasure. Instead of envelopes of money randomly taped to public sites, locally grown flower arrangements are left on park benches or...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Perennials guru closes down his benefit plant sales

Just like his beloved perennials, Bob Hamm keeps coming back for more. But the challenges of maintaining his benefit plant sales through this summer appear overwhelming to the longtime volunteer.

This week, Hamm is shutting down his backyard nursery operation with an everything-must-go kind of clearance sale of unusual and rare...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Fuchsias, an old favorite, keep birds humming

Seeds: Fuchsias, an old favorite, keep birds humming


Scott Humphrey of Rancho Cordova, a fuchsia expert, says hummingbirds love tubular flowers, including fuchsias, salvias and agapanthus.

Scott Humphrey recommends a sure way to attract more hummingbirds into your garden: Hang a fuchsia.

Humphrey, of course, is partial to this graceful bell-like flower. He’s a...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Amid drought, Maple Rock Gardens celebrates spring

Seeds: Amid drought, Maple Rock Gardens celebrates spring


Changes abound at Maple Rock, including a spruced-up Japanese garden.

Owner Scott Paris has overseen a lot of change at his Maple Rock Gardens. Besides its showcase landscapes, the Newcastle landmark now is a full-fledged working farm, providing fresh produce for Paris’ restaurant at High Hand Nursery and Conservatory in...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Going native with an eye on water

Seeds: Going native with an eye on water


Prairie smoke ( Geum triflorum) is an interesting native wildflower that can make itself at home in the dry garden, according to author Miriam Goldberger.

As we continue to reshape our front- and backyards to fit our non-rainy weather, we in California have learned that some plants cope much...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Peony time comes to foothill farm

Seeds: Peony time comes to foothill farm


Julia Moore looks over her peonies in 2012 at Dragonfly Peony Farm near Wilseyville.

The colder it gets in winter, the bigger the peonies bloom.

A good dose of chill seems to enhance the size of these old-fashioned spring flowers. December’s deep freeze paid off in...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: Art and gardens in bloom for tours in region

Seeds: Art and gardens in bloom for tours in region


Artists can find inspiration in local gardens. So can other gardeners. Both aspects coincide during two weekend tours that feature painters at work in backyard landscapes.

So many garden events, so little time. Squeezed into a window of (usually) perfect spring weather, several local clubs vie for our attention in...

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The Sacramento Bee
Seeds: The groundskeeper’s backyard secret? Fake lawn

Seeds: The groundskeeper’s backyard secret? Fake lawn


Kathy and Stu Varner, shown in their backyard with dogs Reggie and Murphy, put artificial turn there when grass wouldn’t grow well. Check it out during this weekend’s Gardens of Folsom tour.

Stu Varner knows a lot about lawns and how to make them look great. He’s worked professionally at...

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