VOLUME 20, ISSUE 12 • March 21, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


It's so much fun preparing e-gardens for you this time of year. The weather is great, and gardening is on everyone's mind.

In this issue…
Spring snowballs are my favorites!
This weekend's checklist
Carolyn Skei - there's no one quilt like her!
Steven Chamblee warns me to duck and run
An odd pattern of questions.

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Photo: Chinese snowball viburnums along the Sperry driveway after we picked up the mail yesterday afternoon. I love this shrub!


Gardening This Weekend

We've had generous good gardening weather so far this spring and more appears to be on its way. It's given us a great chance to make landscaping improvements. Let's assess where we are and what lies ahead.

Photo: Plant marigold transplants soon to enjoy them before hot weather arrives.


Native Son: Empress Tree

You know how you feel when your boy brings home a puppy. You’re not sure you want that puppy. It’s not completely housebroken, so you don’t know if you can trust it. But he loves his puppy. Well, my friend Steven Chamblee has brought home his horticultural equivalent. He’s so happy – I’ll just leave it at that. 😉

Photo: Steven’s in a love/hate relationship with this tree.


Garden Tip: Hybridized Hobbies

Hang around Carolyn Skei for a few minutes and you'll realize her genius. I tell her almost every time that we speak that she's my hero. And now that she won another quilting blue ribbon last week. I can tell you why. She's put all her hobbies together - something you could do, too. Take a look!

Photo: "Quicksilver Country," photo and quilt by Carolyn Skei.


Chinese snowball is under-loved but deserving

I'm on a campaign to get this lovely large shrub planted across Texas. While other heirloom plants have come and gone in popularity, it's still waiting its first big exposure. You can be a part of that wave. Let me tell you why you'll want to hop aboard.

Photo: Chinese snowball is in flower across much of Texas currently.


Ask Neil

Is there something mysterious in my soil? Is a phantom killing my Japanese yew? Why aren't all redbuds pink? I've followed your advice for 50 years - now what shade tree should I plant for the next 50 years?


And, in closing…

That's our baby for another week. Since our office will be closed on Good Friday, I'll try to get my work for next week's edition done just a little bit early (no promises - the bluebonnet fields are calling!).

If you enjoy what we offer, tell our advertisers. And tell your pals and gals.

Have a wonderful week, and until next time…

Happy gardening!



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