VOLUME 18, ISSUE 31 • August 4, 2022

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Zeus our dog, my American beautyberry and I have decided that it's really hot. Two of the three of us have been spending most of our time indoors. Happily, fall soon will be here. This week's e-gardens addresses late summer, but it also delves into some fun things.

In this issue…
Can-do cupheas (tiny flowers, big beauty);
Those caterpillars may lead to more beauty;
This weekend's tasks (I'll be gentle);
How "dormant" is your lawn?
And our bigger and better Q&A.

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Photo: Mexican heather is one of those little gems that sits there, blooming its heart out, just waiting to be noticed.


Gardening This Weekend

Here's a little test. Name the things that absolutely need to be done this first weekend of August in your landscape and garden. Even with the heat, there are a few. I'll show you my list so we can compare. Click through to read them.

Photo: Plant summer squash for fall harvest now.


Before you reach for the sprayer

That caterpillar that's chomping down on your prized plant might be the larval form of some beautiful butterfly or moth. Before you grab the bug spray, you might want to do just a little reading. I'll get you started.

Photo: Monarch butterfly stops off briefly on the Sperrys' Mexican mint marigold a couple of autumns ago.


Is my lawn just dormant?

I've had several dozen calls and questions the past couple of weeks from people who want to know if their lawns are just dormant and if they'll come back. I'm going to take a little time to explain. Click through for details.

Photo: How well will this St. Augustine rebound? What about other lawns?


Beauty in small sizes

I'm a big fan of little plants that stay in their places doing their jobs, never complaining and always performing. One genus that excels in that is Cuphea and one of its species has been a sweet hero in my gardens for decades. The other is a newcomer plant.

Photo: 'Honeybells' on the left, Mexican heather on the right.


Ask Neil

This week's questions cover drought, dry plants and not enough water. Oh, and a bunch of other interesting topics like naked figs and bare redbuds. Hey! It's what you sent me! Take a gander.


And, in closing…

That's it for e-gardens for another week. I'm assembling ideas for next week already. It should be good.

I'll be on the air as usual this weekend and I hope you'll join me. Here are the times and places.

On a personal note, it was 55 years ago this Saturday that Lynn and I were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ashville, Ohio. I took this photo just a few cooler months ago when we took a day trip around North Texas, ending up here in Decatur. All I can say is that I'm the luckiest man in the world. Happy Anniversary, Lynn!

Click image for larger view.

Until next week, thanks for reading…

And happy gardening!


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