Time and Temp


All photos and posts on this site are copyrighted by Lee Oliphant. Please ask permission before use and give proper credit or link to this website.


• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


Cambria Garden Tour a Success

The garden is ready!

The big day finally came! The Cambria Garden Tour, sponsored by New Dawn Montessori School each spring, always has a big turnout from people all over Central California. Many of the visitors have second homes here in Cambria and are here for the weekend, many are locals, and many come from the surrounding area. Local restaurants serve food and musicians play music at the six gardens. When asked, this year, if Don and I would be a part of the tour, and let over 300 people visit our garden, we said yes.

People like the chickens and vegetable beds.

I enjoy putting the garden on display and since I write the garden column for the local newspaper, I feel I have to show folks that I practice what I preach. But it is a relatively young garden (six years old) and we were always building something so I usually had an excuse. First there was a garden shed, then arbors, work bench, and the chicken coop. Some pavers had to be put down.

There was always a mess. It will look so much better in a few years. Old gardens are so much better than young ones. The trees will be larger and ground cover will fill in. For us personally, this was a good year to devote to this project. We had no large trip planned, we are healthy, and have no big obligations. To have your garden ready for viewing takes some preparation and I felt it would be a good idea to be on the garden tour before I get too old.

Local ranchers, all dressed up, visit my garden.

Normally, I garden and clean up one section at a time. But because of the tour,  we had to do it all at once. No small feat! It took a month to get the garden in shape and finish all the planting projects we’d started. I was proud of the garden. It was as good as it gets. The day of the tour was overcast and cool but great for taking pictures and many people had their cameras ready. I had labeled many of the plants both in the vegetable boxes and around the garden but still the questions came. I got asked the name of a rose whose name I can no longer remember….over and over.

Visitors to the garden.

Visitors really loved the chickens. I put out a brief bio on the hens for people to read and they liked that. I put out a bowl of the eggs so people could see the differences in egg colors. When a pesky crow found the bowl and began having the eggs for lunch, I had to remove it.

Don’s shed and my roses were hits!

We had fun on the tour and got lots of compliments. We’re tired and recuperating with our feet up, but our cup is full! If you were on the tour, thanks for coming. You made our day!

To see the article that I wrote for the Cambrian on the upcoming garden tour this year, visit Garden Extravaganza.

5 comments to Cambria Garden Tour a Success

  • Christina

    My daughter and I were two of your visitors on the garden tour and yours was probably our favorite garden. We especially liked your chicken coop and cam as we have several of the same breeds here in SLO, including a Buff Orp named Daisy.

    Can you tell me what the soil mix is in your raised beds? It looked so rich and your plants so healthy.

  • Lee

    I think I remember someone saying they had a Buff named Daisy. Such a perfect name for such a cheerful, sweet hen. I’m glad you enjoyed our garden. I had such a good time talking gardening with people. Thank you for coming!

  • Christina

    There must be several Daisy-chickens about then, because I didn’t get a chance to chat with you. :) Thanks for the handouts with your websites too, I’m enjoying reading a local gardening blog, especially for a garden I’ve actually visited.

    Any tips on your soil mix for your raised beds? Do you fill them with your own compost? I don’t have enough to do that yet.

  • Lee

    Hello Christina,
    Yes I do use my own compost in the vegetable beds but originally (about 5 years ago) we used some native soil from the property (full of weeds and small rocks unfortunately) and “top soil” from a commercial company. We needed a couple cubic yards. You can buy good soil in bags but it is pretty expensive (depending how much you need). Once you get it in, just add good old aged chicken manure and compost a couple times a year and your all set! Good luck!

  • Christina

    Thank you!

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