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


May in a Cambria Garden

Simple arbor supports fast-growing coral passion vine.

Simple arbor supports fast-growing coral passion vine.

For many of us in Cambria and along the Central Coast, the most difficult gardening chores like weeding, fertilizing, and planting are finished. Your garden is clean and plants are growing and maturing. Leaves are healthy, the vegetables are blossoming, and summer flowers are beginning to spread their petals.

Vines are climbing and spreading. My husband built (in an afternoon) a small arbor to go over a gate that opens to the open space behind us. He made it out of scrap wood and attached it to the fence posts. He didn’t worry too much about perfection because the Passiflora ‘Coral Seas” (Jamesonii) or Coral Pink Passion Flower Vine will soon cover it.

Look around. Are you missing anything? Does your garden have some sweet-smelling blossoms like heliotrope, jasmine, or tuberose? Are there splashes of vivid color from bougainvillea or coral passion flowers? There’s still time to add a few blasts of color to lift your spirits when “June gloom” hangs heavy. Plant them in the ground or in pots scattered among shrubs.

Plant a few six-packs of Celosia (woolflower or cockscomb), dianthus, lobelia, marigold, petunia, verbena or zinnia, to brighten your summer beds. Try a new variety of an old standby. Remember, part of the fascination of gardening is the element of surprise!

In the warmer interior like Paso Robles, Atascadero, Templeton and the East Bay

*sow beans and cucumber
*set out basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and other potted herbs
*pinch back herbs as they grow, especially basil.

Along the coast like Morro Bay, Los Oso, and San Francisco:
*It’s not too late to plant corn, snow peas, and green beans.
*Put in tomatoes now. Plant as deeply as possible in rich soil.                  *Plant greens every few weeks to keep your supply going.

We’ve had late rain so only my seedlings and newly planted shrubs need water. But you’ll want to reset your automatic watering system so that the soil remains moist a few inches below the surface.

In both the interior and along the cool coast:
Feed actively growing plants now if you haven’t earlier in the spring.

Withhold food and water from mature Mediterranean and native plants like lavender. They are going dormant. Thin fruit as it forms to increase size and health.

Conserve water and suppress weeds with mulch. Remember to keep mulch away from the trunks and stems of plants.

Now, stop and smell the roses. Begin harvesting early vegetables like greens and fruits like strawberries and berries. Enjoy the abundance of summer and the beauty you’ve created!

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