VOLUME 19, ISSUE 20 • May 18, 2023

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Welcome to your latest installment of e-gardens, Texas' longest-running gardening digital newsletter (best we know).

In this issue…
Three great perennials;
Your assignments for mid- to late May;
Pimples on your pecans;
This week's questions answered; and
What lurks behind Steven's beard?

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Photo: Oakleaf hydrangeas are blooming in the Sperry home gardens this week.


Gardening This Weekend

This is our bulletin board of important and timely tasks of each season. I tell you here of plants to get started, pests and problems that have arisen - all the things you might want to watch for. Take a quick scan to see if there's anything that needs your attention.

Photo: It's time both to plant and to tip-prune copper plants.


Native Son: Dr. Steven and Mr. Hide

What's Steven doing out in his backyard? He shares the fun details in this month's installment.

Photo: I agree with Steven – foliage of sassafras is handsome. I wish it would grow in alkaline soil. He gets all the luck!


Three Great Perennials for May

Perennials bring a feeling of permanence and stability to a garden. Mix more than match them, so you'll have a succession of blooms through the year.

Photo: Daylilies come in a rich assortment of sizes, shapes, colors, and forms.


Pecan leaves are breaking out

They're called pecan phylloxera galls, and they're happening all across Texas as you're reading this. But what causes them, and how harmful are they? I'll give you the answers. Click through to read them.

Photo: Pecan phylloxera galls from the Sperry home driveway.


Ask Neil

Peppers with problems, Indian blanket seed ripening and unwanted vines twice over. Oaks still in trouble. Our sample plate is loaded. Click through to see.


And, in closing…

Last Friday was great. As I mentioned, our oldest grandchild Sam graduated from the University of North Texas in Business/Finance. Lynn and I are mightily proud of Sam, as is his mom Erin.

It was a happy night for Sam and Erin.
Click image for larger view.


Earlier Friday the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney Foundation distributed a 1-gallon crape myrtle to every 5th grader in the McKinney Independent School District. This marked the 17th year that we have done this.

Volunteers from McKinney North High School assisted in delivering the plants to our city's 20 elementary schools, and I asked how many of them had received crape myrtles to give to their moms when they were in the 5th grade. Take a look at those raised hands! I think we might have a tradition going here. We love this photo, and we thank those great young Bulldogs!

12 students from McKinney North High School help deliver 2,000 crape myrtles to McKinney ISD 5th graders on the Friday before Mother’s Day. Click image for larger view.


Finally, after a whole spring spent campaigning, I got to see my wife sworn in for her new term on the McKinney school board two nights ago. She is now in her 40th year. We think she is the most-tenured board member in Texas.

Screen capture from video, left to right: Lynn Sperry, Amy Dankel, and Stephanie O'Dell were sworn in after re-election to McKinney ISD school board. Click image for larger view.


I'll be on the air live this weekend. Give me a listen, and give me a call! Click for a list of stations and times.

Until next week here, thanks for reading…

And happy gardening!



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