VOLUME 19, ISSUE 40 • October 19, 2023

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Can one week of Texas weather be any more beautiful? When I sign something "Happy Gardening" this is what I'm talking about!

In this issue…
The future of mowers is here;
A tree for the ages;
This weekend's timely assignments;
Steven Chamblee's spooky plant story; and
Unusual questions and my best shots at the answers.

Still on sale - only $34.95

Our family gathered for Lynn's birthday and to be with me recently. Details below.
Left to right: Todd, Erin, Lynn, Neil and Brian

Many say it's the best overall gardening reference for Texas.
Covers all aspects of outdoor gardening, from lawns and landscapes to fruit, flower, and vegetable gardens.
Written for every county in Texas.
344 pages. 840 of my photos. Hardback.

This is the 6th printing. I took delivery on the next-to-last shipment only 6 hours ago. Don't delay!

I sign every copy as it sells.
If you want it to give for the holidays, order early. My schedule this year may be unpredictable.

Not in stores and not on Amazon.

(800) 752-4769

Photo: As the weather cools down it becomes pansy-planting time across Texas. 'Jewels 'n Jazz'.


Gardening This Weekend

It's wrap-up time for the growing season. That brings an end to many of your gardening tasks, and it marks the start-up of some of the others. I've fine-tuned your list.

Photo: Tulips are lovely for spots of spring color, but they require "pre-chilling."


Native Son: Monstera, Inc.

There’s a lot going on in the fertile mind of my good friend Steven Chamblee. The floodgates pour open this month as Steven describes one of his typical weekends of late October. (Don’t miss this one!)

Photo: Mild-mannered by day, Steven Chamblee becomes a bat-faced cuphea by night.


The Love/Hate Relationship: October 19, 2023

It's a tree of many names, but does it have real purpose to Texans? Yes, it does. Maybe you're not even aware. I think you'll enjoy what I've written up on bois d'arc, one of our most rugged of trees.

Photo: Bois d'arc will probably outlive the fence.


Honda's new autonomous EV riding mower

Honda has just announced its first entry into the autonomous electric zero-turning radius riding mower market. Too many adjectives? Perhaps watching it on the video will help you understand this super-cool machine. All the best-dressed lawns will be wearing them.

Photo: Here's what you might be driving.


Ask Neil

This week it's asters all over, but no Shastas to be found. Planting and watering new trees, and magnolias that have overstayed their welcomes. Ball moss imported to North Texas, and a reader who's upset with something I didn't write.


And, in closing…

I hope you've enjoyed this week’s e-gardens. And I hope you'll tune me in on the radio this weekend. Check out my columns in the dozen or so Texas newspapers that carry them.

Some news I need to share…
Before I close down for the week, I need to let you know that I've been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma - stage 4 cancer. I've turned my care over to an outstanding team, and I'm very optimistic about my recovery. I do intend to keep working because I feel terrific!

If you are interested in more details, click here.

That's it for this week. Until next time, please know how much I appreciate you. Thanks for reading.

And happy gardening!



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