VOLUME 14, ISSUE 4 • January 25, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


It's a really busy time as the gardening season revs up and gets rolling. Hopefully you'll have a bit of time to spend outdoors over the next several days.

Here's what I've prepared…
• Best tall shade trees;
• Best short and medium trees;
• Gardening tasks for this weekend;
• Why are live oaks dropping their leaves; and
• Does pampasgrass need to be trimmed?


Lone Star Gardening - be ready for spring!
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That's what you'll find in e-gardens this week. If you enjoy it, let others know. Let's get it all underway!

Photo: ‘Rhubarb’ Swiss chard is an ornamental cool-season annual. But don’t confuse it with rhubarb, which doesn’t grow well in Texas.


Best of the Large Shade Trees

You don't really have a landscape here in Texas until you have one or two shade trees. If you have ample room, I have the best of the big ones. Click through to see them.

Photo: Shumard red oak is one of best large trees for Texas.


Best Medium and Small Trees

Hand-in-hand with the list of large shade trees, here is a list of the best trees for smaller spaces and urban lots. In many cases these will be better choices.

Photo: ‘Little Gem’ magnolia, all-star medium tree for Texas.


Gardening This Weekend

The final week of January brings many critically timed tasks for our landscapes and gardens. For many plants, it's prime time to plant and prune. I have the details.

Photo: ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard provides late winter color.


Question of the Week Number 1: January 25, 2018

"Neil, several of my live oaks have turned gray and are starting to drop leaves way too early. Has the cold injured them? Will they come back?"

You'll see this happening over big swaths of Texas. Read my reply.

Photo: Live oaks in just the past couple of days in the DFW area.


Question of the Week Number 2: January 25, 2018

"Neil, it appears my pampasgrass leaves are all turning brown. Do I need to trim them? If so, how and when?"

Save yourself a trip to the doctor. I'll give you sound tips.

Photo: Pampasgrass was wounded by last week's cold.


And, in closing…

I'll be back next week with another e-gardens and I hope you'll be watching for it as well. We have great things to discuss.

In the meantime, join me on Facebook, on my website, and in almost 20 Texas newspapers. Tune in my radio programs and catch my podcasts. And I'll see you in church this coming Sunday.

Until we cross paths, thanks for reading, and

Happy Gardening!


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