VOLUME 14, ISSUE 27 • July 5, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


¡Hola! Hope you had a great 4th and an equally fine day today. I'm here to help you look into the weekend and your mid-summer gardening activities.

In this issue…
• One of the showiest plants in Texas;
• What's killing our periwinkles?
• Garden tasks for the weekend (short and sweet version);
• Strange, lacy webs on our trees' trunks; and
• Sickly St. Augustine (again).

Better book it!
The 3rd printing of Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening is rolling along. Dozens of big skids of pages are ready to send to the bindery.

I'll hold to that pre-order price just a little bit longer. Buy a 3rd printing copy now and get the lowest price I'll ever offer. It will be $33.95, but for a limited time, I'll sell it for only $26.95! (All prices plus tax, postage.) Offer will end without much notice.

I self-published this book because I wanted the incredible talents of editor Carolyn Skei (L) and graphic designer Cyndy Smith alongside me. The three of us prepared the book. Printing advisor Collin Flood helped me find Clear Visions Printing (Brad Dietrich) in San Antonio to print it. (Any book named Lone Star Gardening needed to be printed in Texas!)

• Self-published so I could have the book I really wanted.
• Far more thorough – and a quarter-century more up to date – than my 1991 "cowboy boot" book.
• 840 of my photos and 344 pages.
• Printed in Texas, not China.
• Covers all aspects of landscapes and gardens in Texas.

• Not in stores and not on Amazon.
Order from my website at any time, or call my office weekdays 9-5 at (800) 752-4769.
• I will sign every book in the sequence in which they are sold.

Note: If you need a copy of the book immediately, I have a limited number of copies of the 2nd printing at their regular price of $31.95 plus tax, postage. Order from my website or office.

Photo: Showy summer colors of Pride of Barbados, or red Mexican bird of paradise.


Plant of the Week: Pride of Barbados

This plant would be the pride of anyone's garden. It's a favorite across the southern two-thirds of Texas. Check out the details.

Photo: Butterflies love Pride of Barbados as much as we gardeners do.


Gardening This Weekend

Does anyone have extra time this weekend? Is everyone traveling? Pressure's on me to give you only the most important things to do in your landscape and garden, and I have them.

Photo: Watering is critical task of this time.


Question of the Week Number 1: July 5, 2018

"Neil, we have a very fine web on the trunks of two of our trees. Inside the webs we see thousands of tiny black insects scurrying around. Will any of this harm the trees?"

It's an unusual insect. I'll explain.

Photo: Webs of bark lice.


Question of the Week Number 2: July 5, 2018

"Neil, what has happened to my periwinkles? They are dying in just a few days."

This disease almost took periwinkles out of our gardens for 25 years.

Photo: Is there any hope for this planting?


Question of the Week Number 3: July 5, 2018

"Neil, what is happening to my St. Augustine? Why is it so yellow?"

I've already been getting a lot of questions about this disease. If this looks like your lawn, I have the answers.

Photo: Gray leaf spot is attacking St. Augustine.


And, in closing…

That's it for e-gardens for another week. Be watching next week, same e-mailbox and same time on the sundial (6 p.m. Thursdays) for another exciting episode.

Until then, let's join up at my website, on Facebook, on the radio, in the newspaper, on a podcast, at a burger joint, or especially at church.

Be safe and be swell!

Happy Gardening!


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