About Neil Sperry
Neil Sperry grew up in College Station. He’s been a plant geek all of his life, tracking along with his dad, a Range Management professor at Texas A&M University. Neil owned and operated a nursery and landscaping business in high school, and many of his trees still line major streets of his hometown.
He attended Texas A&M, but transferred to Ohio State University and received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in horticulture. He taught high school horticulture in Shelby, Ohio, for two years before joining the Texas AgriLife Extension for seven years (1970-1977).
Radio: Neil can be heard somewhere in Texas seven days a week. M-F his Plant Talk Texas syndicated daily feature is carried by more than 30 Texas stations. Saturdays he is heard on the Texas Lawn and Garden Hour live 11-noon, also on more than 30 stations across Texas. Saturday afternoons 1-2 he is on DFW station KLIF 1190AM. Sunday mornings 8-9 he broadcasts over the strong signal of WBAP 820AM.
Newspapers: Neil is a featured garden columnist weekends in the Fort Worth Star Telegram (since 1977), San Antonio Express News (since 1995) and 12 other newspapers (since 1971).
Books: Neil Sperry’s Complete Guide to Texas Gardening (1982 and 1991) has sold more than 1 million copies.
Neil Sperry’s Lone Star Gardening (Texas’ Complete Planting Guide and Gardening Calendar). Neil self-published this book, now in its 6th printing. It is not in stores or on Amazon – only available from www.neilsperry.com or by calling 1 (800) 752-4769.
Inducted into Texas Radio Hall of Fame (October 18, 2003)
American Garden Communicator of the Year (American Association of Nurserymen)
Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension)
Garden Communicators Association of America: top awards for his radio and television broadcasts, book, magazine and calendar
Lifetime Honorary Membership
Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.
On August 14, 2020, Neil received the Arp Award from the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. In TNLA’s own words, “This award is the highest honor given to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the industry and the Association. These individuals exemplify the Association’s ideals: innovation, service, and high ethical behavior in both their business and their personal lives.” Neil’s comment to his children when inviting them to join the virtual presentation: “This is this is the best that I can do in my career for you.”
Citizen of the Year, McKinney Texas (2003) Wife Lynn received same award in 2006.
Volunteer of the Year, McKinney Texas (shared with wife in 1997)
Collin County Living Legends (with wife, 2007)
Texas Volunteer of the Year (2020) for his 40 years of work with the Denton State Supported Living Center (Texas Health and Human Services’ Health and Specialty Care System)
January 31, 2019 I stood alongside Lynn as the ribbon was cut and the name was announced (a complete surprise) for the Sperry Performing Arts Center at McKinney High School. In theory, the center is named for both of us, but it is 98 percent to Lynn’s credit. She joined the McKinney ISD board of trustees in 1984 and still serves. She is a staunch supporter of fine arts in public education. Her reaction to the announcement was priceless. Click to watch.
Both Neil and Lynn serve on many various boards in McKinney and the surrounding area.
Neil was a founding force in the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney, and both he and Lynn serve on its board. For that work with crape myrtles and the school children of McKinney, Neil was awarded the National Conservation Award of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 2014.
Neil served on the board of the Volunteer Services Council of the Denton State Supported Living Center (“Denton State School”) for more than 20 years. He has been the radio voice of their annual gift drive “Christmas is for Caring” for most of 40 years.
Lynn has been on the McKinney School Board since 1984 and has served as its secretary, vice-president and president.
Lynn was a founding force for the McKinney Education Foundation, and is board member Emeritus.
Both serve on the Serenity High advisory board, and all of Neil’s fund-raising activities have been directed toward that school and MEF for the past 25 years.
Neil and Lynn have been happily married and building their life together since 1967. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church of McKinney. They are proud parents of Brian, Todd and Erin, and the equally proud grandparents of Sam, Alex, Audrey, Lauren, Ella, Joseph and Nolan as well as great-granddaughter Jackie!
The Miracles of Ella Grace Sperry
You have heard or read my references to our seven grandchildren Sam, Alex, Audrey, Lauren, Ella, Joseph and Nolan and great granddaughter Jackie. They are the lights of my life.
Ella and her parents have given me permission to share her special journey with you. Born February 18, 2007, with a cleft lip and cleft palate, Ella has parents who have instilled great confidence and self-esteem in this beautiful little girl. Great blessings and medical care professionals have only made her more gorgeous. Click here to see the transformation. Ella will win your heart!