Are You Wondering What Grows in Sacramento Gardens in May?

grows in sacramento gardens

Shasta Daisy grows in Sacramento gardens

Wondering what grows in Sacramento gardens this spring? Unlike other parts of the country — like where my family lives in Minneapolis — we can start planting in late April or early May without much concern. When I was a kid growing up in Minnesota, the logic was do not plant anything before Memorial Day. It was a matter of do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk? Because if not, the likelihood was soon as you slip that tender tomato plant into the garden, it will snow like crazy and your plants will croak.

That is very unlikely to happen in Sacramento. We might complain about the super hot summers, meaning I complain about the heat, a lot, but still, it beats freezing off my tush in Minnesota. There are days I think, perhaps when I retire I will spend long lazy days in the garden, but that’s not happening while I’m still selling Sacramento real estate. Real estate pretty much rules my life: I put in 12-hour days, 7 days a week. You can’t be a top producer Sacramento Realtor without putting in the hours.

My husband puts in 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at his job, and even he has difficulty finding time to garden. Although, our front yard looks pretty decent, but we didn’t do it. Nope, I simply keep telling our gardeners to make it look like somebody gives a crap. But don’t get too close to our front door because spiders and creepy bugs have taken over the front porch. I generally go in the back door so I don’t have to see it. My husband comes in the front, but he doesn’t care.

Now that you know what avid gardeners we are and how dedicated we are to the process, let me show you some of our recent plantings this year. Below are lots of new plants that I’ve found which grows in Sacramento gardens and are often native to our dry Mediterranean-like climate.

Do you like the Shasta Daisy above? Staring intently into the center of the flower tends to transform the image into a kaleidoscope of sorts. It’s about alpha brain waves, making me feel like my brain is spinning out of control. Like dropping acid or watching the Twilight Zone.


Bougainvillea grows in Sacramento gardens.

This bougainvillea reminds me of living in Newport Beach in southern California. When I first moved to Orange County in 1976, I had a lot of bougainvillea growing over the fence in my yard. It seemed so exotic to me. Some people are astonished to learn that there are small tiny flowers inside the petals of a bougainvillea. From a distance, all you see is the vibrant petal colors. We keep ours in a large pot up against a white sunny wall.

pink striped double dianthus

Pink striped double dianthus grows in Sacramento gardens.

There are over 300 varieties of this type of carnation. And they are perennials. This means they come back year after year. I find this type of carnation grows in Sacramento gardens very well, but since weeds form too quickly in beds, I put them in pots. They winter over and bloom again in the spring.

 grows in Sacramento gardens

Purple Verbena Bonariensis grows in Sacramento gardens

These purple verbena are supposed to grow about four feet, but not in our Sacramento gardens. Heck no, these tall stems grow 8 to 10 feet high. I do not know why. They tolerate a lot of heat and do not need much water. They are a perfect plant for me to neglect. Further, they come back every year and produce a million tiny purple flowers.

grows in Sacramento gardensHere we have a view of where the flower pots live on our back deck. I positioned them to receive a bit of overflow from the sprinklers so I don’t have to ever water them. Because if they need to rely on me for watering, they will surely die an agonizing and pitiful death. Pretty much the same could be said for my husband’s attentiveness to watering, but I won’t say it because he wouldn’t like it. Sweetie, just skip over this part.


I tried to get a good photograph of the cactus in the frog planter, but it wasn’t turning out. So I put myself into the picture.

You can see how much wind we had yesterday in Sacramento. No need for a garden windsock when you’ve got my hair to tell the whole story. For a lot of people who live in Sacramento, we survive spring winds, especially days like this, by taking Flonase or other medication. I never had allergies when I lived in southern California or other places around the country. Just in Sacramento, and only over the past 10 years or so.

Lettuce grows in Sacramento gardens

Lettuce grows in Sacramento gardens

This pot has a stem in the center that holds water. The idea is the lettuce will receive a continual source of hydration to keep it growing in the hot sun. This way we can pick it when we get hungry. The only trouble with this idea, the way I see it, is I can pluck and consume almost the entire pot in one salad. Perhaps I will need to be patient and see how much bigger the lettuce grows.

Cucumber grows in Sacramento gardens

Cucumber grows in Sacramento gardens

At least that’s my guess as to what this is: a cucumber. I didn’t plant it, obviously. This is my husband’s work. And look at how he has positioned the drip line extension to approach the stem of this plant in just the right spot! See? That’s extra care right there! And this is also the time when I suspect my husband will text me to say, ha, ha, ha, that is not a cucumber. It is a squash. If that happens, so be it. I am not ashamed to not know what I did not plant.

Tomatoes grow in Sacramento gardens

Tomatoes grow in Sacramento gardens

There is a reason Sacramento has a nickname of Sac-o-tomato. This tomato plant has flowers already. It used to live in my flower garden until I asked my husband to transplant it elsewhere, over by the jasmine.

Problem with this particular garden bed is it is covered in wild onions and weeds. You can see a few of them struggling to survive next to the plant. If I’m really fortunate over Memorial Day weekend, we might set aside a bit of time to weed. Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s gonna happen, just given our propensity for predilection, there is always something else that needs our attention.

Elizabeth Weintraub


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