Northern California May checklist

What to do in your garden in May

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Grow a tower of flowers

Summer-blooming vines, grown up a narrow structure, add color and height to even the smallest gardens.

Choose a showy subtropical perennial, like the Mandevilla shown here; or morning glory, climbing snapdragon (Asarina), or another annual vine. Before planting, set in place a sturdy structure with enough height and heft to support your vine (adding a structure later is difficult).

As shoots grow, train them to the support with self-gripping Velcro, plant tape, or twist ties.

–Sharon Cohoon

More: How to build a rustic tipi for climbing plants

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