VOLUME 20, ISSUE 16 • April 18, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Things grow faster this time of year than at any other time here in Texas. Oh, my!

In this issue…
Might be the most dependable perennial.
This busy weekend's projects.
Enemies out my car window.
Steven Chamblee has been out in the heat.
My answers to your questions.

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I spent a year writing it, and it covers lawns, landscapes, fruit, flower, and vegetable gardening.
Written for every county in Texas.
344 pages. 840 of my photos. More than 25 multi-page charts.
I sign every copy as it sells, and I guarantee your satisfaction or I'll refund every penny.
Not in stores and not on Amazon. This book is immensely better than my old "cowboy boot book."

Note: This is the final (6th) printing of my book. I will not be printing another, and I'm not working on another title. Please do not delay.

Order from my website anytime
Or call my office M-F, 9-5
(800) 752-4769

Photo: Salvia greggii has come a long way since it was observed, identified, and named in the Texas Hill Country 150 years ago.


Gardening This Weekend

I've decided that I like spring! Actually, I decided that several decades ago! This is the most wonderful time of the year. Even with rainstorms and cold fronts, it still evens out. I've assembled our weekly checklist of things to accomplish. Take a look.

Photo: Double-flowering mock oranges are lovely deciduous shrubs for partial shade.


Native Son: April 18, 2024

Poor Steven Chamblee. Stud athlete that he is, he still must have pulled something important as he was tending his chores. He and the earth became one. Birds were nesting in his hair and vines were growing up his pants. At least that’s how I read it. See what you think.

Photo: Steven hurt himself. Just enough energy for one more selfie.


Is it a perennial, or is it a shrub?

If you garden in Texas, you must have this plant. It's native here, and it thrives here. It's basically a perennial, and it's called "autumn sage," but where I live 45 miles south of the Red River, it blooms from February 'til frost. Let's talk about it.

Photo: Salvia greggii is playing a big part in this McKinney landscape.


Horror Show of the High Wire

No one will walk through this wall of plants twice. Forget the fact that there's barbed wire in there somewhere. Danger lurks in what you see growing in front of your eyes. This is across the road from our house. Behind our mailbox, in fact. Let me ID them and tell you how I eliminate their offspring.

Photo: Poison ivy, smilax briars and Halls honeysuckle.


Q&A – Ask Neil

Who enforces painting of pruned oaks? Why won't my Chinese pistachio keep up with the neighbor's? How long must I wait to plant bermuda seed after applying 2,4-D? And why am I told purple wintercreeper won't grow here? Serious questions. My best attempts at answers.


And, in closing…

Our e-gardens trail has come to an end for another week, but I see another trail just ahead. I'll start gathering goodies for the next one immediately.

In the meantime, I hope you'll stop by your favorite nursery tomorrow. Make it an independent retail garden center where you can work with full-time plant people - Texas Certified Nursery Professionals.

And join me, please, on the radio live this weekend.
Statewide on 33 stations Saturday 11:06-noon (888) 256-1080.
KLIF 570 AM and 96.3 Saturday 1-2 pm (888) 787-5543.
WBAP 820 AM and 93.3 FM Sunday 8-9 am (800) 288-9227.
(Podcasts of these programs will be on my website by Monday evening.)

Again, thanks for reading. And until next week…

Happy gardening!



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