VOLUME 20, ISSUE 27 • July 4, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


Happy Independence Week, gardener! Here's wishing you a safe family time together.

As you can see, we're sending e-gardens out two days early so we'll be out of the way of the fireworks. Hope you enjoy it.

In this issue…
Peace lilies in the Sperry garden
A nasty vine you really don't want
Steve Huddleston's dwarf maple
This week's timely tips (short form), and
Your questions and my answers.

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Photo: Crape myrtles 'n flags…a great way to celebrate.


Gardening This Weekend

This is probably going to be an extra-long weekend, so maybe that will allow a little extra time for late-evening gardening. Here are the most critical things to put on the list.

Photo: Lipan crape myrtle is a showy, cultivar. Sadly, it can be hard to find.


Dwarf Trident Maple 'Miyasama yatsuba'

Steve Huddleston wrote to me last week to mention he'd like to share this little beauty with our readers. It's not widely available, especially in the middle of the summer, but he really likes it and he'd like to tell you about it. Also, he'll tell you where you're likely to find it.

Photo: Foliage of an uncommon dwarf maple.


Peace lilies in the Sperry garden

Finding plants to provide interest in heavily shaded parts of the garden is always a challenge. I've used peace lilies for the past 25 years. No, you can't grow them in the ground, but they're easy in large pots. (Greenhouse in winter.)

Photo: Domino Spathiphyllum blooms for several months every summer.


Smilax, the briar

From a few feet away it looks attractive. Glossy green leaves sometimes speckled in silver. But the closer you get the more you realize this sprawling vine really means business. You'd better give it good distance. This is smilax, and I get plenty of questions about it.

Photo: This is close enough!


Q&A – Ask Neil

Plants to attract bees. A Japanese maple running amok. Weeds taking over the blackberries. White specks on crape myrtles. All those and more. Take a quick look.


And, in closing…

I promised a quick read this week, so I'll wind it on down.

Before I do, though, an invitation to join me live on the radio this weekend. And on my website. And in a nursery early some morning.

Happy 4th, friend!

And Happy Gardening!



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