VOLUME 20, ISSUE 4 • January 25, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


It's Thursday, so this must be e-gardens. My goodness, some of you have had wet weeks! But better weather is on the horizon.

In this issue…
Maximizing your gardening returns;
Flowering quince for the ages;
This weekend's homework;
Diane Sitton sets us down; and
I give your questions my best answers.

$34.95 was never a better investment!

All the details you'll need to succeed with trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, annuals, perennials, lawns, fruit, and vegetables. (Those are the chapter titles.)
Plus, a 48-page perpetual calendar of when to plant, prune, fertilize, and protect all those plants in every county in Texas.
All with a money-back guarantee. If this book doesn't pay for itself by the end of this spring, I'll buy it back.
344 pages. Hardback. 840 of my photos. Printed in Texas. I sign every copy as it sells.

Not in stores and not on Amazon.

Order from my website
or call my office weekdays
(800) 752-4769

Photo: Flowering quince buds and blooms tell us that spring is peeking in the door.


Gardening This Weekend

When we move to the next gardening month we worry about how many tasks we have left to get done. Odds are, with all the bad weather, we may have a bunch. Let's look through the list.

Photo: Eastern redcedars transplant easily from nature if we do it in winter dormant season and if we stick with smaller specimens.


Motel chairs making a comeback

Their charm dates back almost 100 years, yet they’ve never been more popular. Diane Sitton calls them “motel chairs.” We call them “comfortable."

Photo: Motel chairs add nostalgic charm to gardens whether they boast original chipped paint, a shiny new paint job, or a folk art redo.


Maximize Landscaping and Gardening Returns

Most of us put a lot of time, money, and effort into our landscaping and gardening. How can we be sure we're going to get the best possible results. I have my own opinions, and I'll share them. Click through to read them.

Photo: Larkspurs must be planted at the right time to succeed.


Flowering Quinces - Horticultural Heirlooms

Old gardeners were already calling these "legacy" plants when I was a kid, and that was several generations ago. And nothing has changed. These late-winter bloomers still mark our past. Let's chat about them in the hopes that you have a spot for one or two at your place.

Photo: This flowering quince is a traffic stopper each spring.


Ask Neil

How can we keep a greenhouse from overheating? How can we keep squirrels from overeating? And what about “weed-and-feeds?” Spider mites and horsetails. Those are just starters.


And, in closing…

That's it for another e-gardens. Before I close out, though, a reminder that I'll have all three of my radio programs this weekend. No pre-emption on KLIF 570AM Sat. 1-2 p.m. Also, my statewide program 11:06-noon Saturday across 33 stations and WBAP 820AM Sunday morning 8-9. Give me a listen - and give me a call!

Finally, January is School Board Appreciation Month across Texas. My wife and I are huge supporters of Texas Public Schools. We both taught, and three of our four parents taught. In fact, Lynn has been on the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees for 40 years (an unpaid position).

Click image for larger view.

Fine Arts are a passion for Lynn, so I thought I would share a photo I took three nights ago at the MISD board meeting.

The students being recognized are the Faubion Middle School Honors Orchestra. They performed at the 2023 Midwest Clinic in Chicago before an International audience.

This is a really big deal. Several hundred middle schools applied. Only two were chosen. They were introduced individually by name by MISD Fine Arts Director Dr. Jared Critchfield as Superintendent Shawn Pratt looked on. That's my wife Lynn in the red jacket just above the "McKinney" table sign. We heard their send-off concert. These musicians are absolutely fabulous!

That's it for this week. Better get to your planting and pruning!

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!



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