VOLUME 19, ISSUE 34 • September 7, 2023

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


This issue of e-gardens has some very special topics. It's a great way to look ahead toward fall. Let's hope it will get here soon.

In this issue…
Steve Huddleston brings a new columnar sweet gum!
When a big limb literally explodes off a tree;
A beautiful pink heirloom bulb to try;
This week's time-sensitive tasks; and
Your questions and my answers.

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Photo: Gregg's mistflower is a favorite pollinator flower across Texas.


Gardening This Weekend

Evenings are pleasant in spite of the warm afternoons. And mornings are really quite tolerable, at least in most parts of Texas. So, let's make a list of the things you'll want to do over the next three days. Some are very time-sensitive.

Photo: Gregg's mistflower is a honeybee and butterfly favorite all across Texas.


Sweet Gum 'Slender Silhouette'

Steve Huddleston brings us a great new tree found by venerable plant man, Don Shadow from Tennessee. He's worth Googling in his own right, but first read up on this columnar sweet gum. If you have the right soil, it might be just the perfect plant for you.

Photo: ’Slender Silhouette' maintains this dramatic shape.


Queens of Their Gardens

They rule over their gardens. No bulb that we grow commands more attention. Whether you call them by their more popular common name of "naked lady lilies" or by the less imaginative and over-used title of "surprise lilies," Lycoris squamigera is a plant you need to include. Let me tell you about it.

Photo: Naked lady lily in bloom in the Sperry gardens 10 days ago.


Sudden Branch Drop Close to Home

Two Sundays ago we awoke to find a large limb from our massive Shumard red oak spanning our driveway. The tree appeared to be completely healthy. Still does. I checked in with Steve Houser, owner of Arborilogical Services, and I'll share what he and others have to say.

Photo: Branches fell without warning.


Ask Neil

Sluggish pumpkins. Overactive pomegranates. Nutsedge gone nuts. Larkspurs and Iceland poppies from seeds. Will wintercreeper take over the world? I'll answer these and more.


And, in closing…

That's it for this week's e-gardens. Now it's your turn to move the garden hoses again and check on all of your plants. You still need to be watering.

The SPCA of Texas invite you to browse their available animals at spca.org/findapet. Visit spca.org/dogadopt to inquire about a dog or spca.org/catadopt to inquire about a cat. Throughout September, all adult dog and cat adoptions are only $25 at the SPCA Dallas Animal Care Center (2400 Lone Star Drive) and the Ellis County Animal Care Center (2570 FM Road 878 in Waxahachie, Texas). Exception: senior pets (7 and older) can be adopted free by senior citizens. You can also donate to the SPCA of Texas now through September 21 for North Texas Giving Day at https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/donate/Spcaoftexas

The Humane Society of Dallas County, also known as Dog and Kitty City, rescues and finds homes for hundreds of dogs and cats in North Texas each year. They do it with the support of people from the North Texas community. They are a small shelter with a huge heart. They need your help and donations to save more animals! Donate now through September 21 for North Texas Giving Day at linktr.ee/humanesocietyofdallascounty.

If you're outside the Metroplex, your local animal shelter needs your support, too.

I'm lining up stories for next week. I hope you'll tell your gardening pals about us, and most of all I hope you'll say thanks to our advertisers. After all, they make us possible.

Until next week,

Happy gardening!



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