VOLUME 20, ISSUE 23 • June 6, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


We're about to have more reasonable weather for gardening, and I've planned this e-gardens accordingly.

Special note: I’ve heard from Steve Houser with Arborilogical Services of DFW (our advertisers) that their firm and other top-level companies are inundated with work following the past two weeks of storms. They are working 7 days a week to get to everyone, but Steve asks that everyone understand that they are starting with emergency cases first. My suggestion: This is a good time to practice our patience. The good companies are worth waiting on.

Here's what I have this week…
It's time for pentas.
Conduct an irrigation audit.
This weekend's prime tasks.
Steve Huddleston visits on vitex.
Your questions, my answers.

A special sale for you!
Only $34.95

Why an author gets sent to his garage to do his book signing. The sunroom was just as full.

Could be the only book you need to be successful gardening in Texas.
344 pages. 840 photos. Hardback. Printed in San Antonio, not China, so I could be at every press check.
11 chapters cover every aspect of lawns, landscapes, fruit, flower, and vegetable gardening for every county in Texas.
A 48-page calendar of when to do every gardening task.
I do sign every copy before they go to the post office.
I personally guarantee your satisfaction or full refund.
Not in stores and not on Amazon.

(800) 752-4769

(Office will be closed Friday, June 7)

Photo: Pink pentas blend gorgeously with Salvia Victoria.


Gardening This Weekend

The weather people I watch refer to this as "meteorological summer," meaning June, July, and August. We're there, gardener, and that time brings with it a new set of responsibilities. I'll outline them for you. Click through to my list.

Photo: Lemon lollipops can be planted now. They love the heat.


Save space for Vitex

Blue-flowering plants are hard to come by, but vitex, or chaste tree, brings that color into the landscape. It's an heirloom shrub that our grandmas grew, and now we find ourselves growing it, too. Let's talk about it a bit.

Photo: There's a special appeal to this shrub that blooms in late spring and early summer.


Time for Sprinkler Audit

You've probably forgotten about your lawn sprinkler system. At our place we've already had 80 percent of our average annual rainfall. But the way Texas is, we're bound to have weeks, if not months of hot, dry weather ahead. It's time to tune up the sprinklers and make sure they're functioning properly. I have tips.

Photo: Sprinkler head doing its thing.


A Parade of Pentas

These great hot-weather annuals have come a long way in my lifetime. From novelties that had us wishing for better all the way to mainstream summertime annuals, pentas have prospered. Let's talk about them today.

Photo: Whether red, white, purple, or pink, pentas add zip to their corners of the garden.


Q&A – Ask Neil

Pre-emergent confusions. A baby vitex. The loveable looking vine that wants to eat your landscape. A spectacular deciduous magnolia runs into trouble. All this and more!


And, in closing…

Please know how much I appreciate your reading e-gardens each week. Please share it with your friends, and let our advertisers know that you're grateful for their involvement.

I'll be on the radio at regular hours this weekend, and I'll be doing all the normal things on my website and with my newspaper columns around Texas.

Slather on the sunscreen and have a great week. I'll be here in your e-mailbox same time next week.

Until then,

Happy Gardening!



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