Volume 9, Issue 1

January, 2013

We're a week later than usual, and we know it! We just didn't want you to get us mixed in with all that wrapping paper last week. But, true to our cause, we have important information for the New Gardening Year, and it's as near as your clicker. I hope you enjoy it, and I also hope you'll let others know about us.

From the Sperry Garden

We've already used it one time this winter, and almost needed to a second time. It's called "frost cloth," and it's your best way of protecting cold-sensitive plants. But, there's more to the story.

Ask Neil

Have a question you'd like Neil to address? It's as simple as this: determine which photo shows it best, then send both the photo and the question to him. He answers six to eight of the questions of greatest reader interest in each issue of e-gardens. Click here to send your photo and question. Here are this month's answers.

Timely Tips January

We highlight the most critical things you need to do each month in this popular part of e-gardens. After all, timing is everything. Here are your assignments for the next several weeks.

Native Son

Our native son finds that a visit to Enchanted Rock can make his day, and so can the plants nearby. Click here to read Steven Chamblee's article about a road trip to Texas Hill Country.

Calendar Quantities Limited!

I always make sure we have extra calendars for those whom Santa might have forgotten. However, we don't have a lot, and wise gardeners are ordering right now. This is the one calendar that tells you when to plant, prune, fertilize and protect every plant that you're growing. Save 1/3 by buying the calendar with a magazine subscription! (You can order either alone.) Whatever your choice, order now, before the supplies are gone!

Last Call! Home Landscape School

It's our 18th annual school, and this one's going to be fun. All day Saturday, Jan. 26, in Plano, then 30-minute consultations Feb. 9 or 10. We'll help you develop a landscape plan for a project at your house. More than that, we'll teach you the principles of good landscape design. Only a few seats remain, so sign up today! You'll leave with a drawing for your project as well as the knowledge of how to design additional plans in the future.

Where's Neil?

Truth be known, he's tethered to his computer for much of this month. Much of that time will be spent getting ready for our Home Landscape School. You'll see him on Facebook. You can hear him on radio, and his podcasts await you. You can even view back segments of DigIn DFW TV.

Texas Tree Tips

To start the New Year, Steve Houser of Arborilogical Services promises us a series of e-gardens articles on tree species. Read this month's article as he begins the discussion of top-rated shade trees.

Plant of the Month

The folks at the Dallas Arboretum were looking for a new cultivar that would thrive in the North Texas winters, and they found a new favorite, the mustard hybrids. Jenny Wegley writes this month about the colorful, edible ornamentals in the Arboretum's mustard trials.

From the Magazine

Neil Sperry's GARDENS Magazine starts the new year with feature articles on gardening do's and don'ts, berries for the birds and much more. Here's Neil's column containing some of his favorite tips for beautiful gardens.

Rose Cuttings

Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium reminds us that some troublesome roses really are worth the effort. This month he gives readers a glimpse of some old roses that have inspired great paintings and wonderful design. Click to read his article.


Here are the stories of Charlotte, Morgayne, Cody and Honey, all lovely animals waiting at SPCAs in McKinney and Dallas for caring new families. Click here to learn about them and to read some holiday-season reminders for pet owners.

January Events

It's cold outside, but botanical gardens around Texas have classes, hikes and even dog days on their schedules. See the January schedule of events of interest to gardeners here.

Refer Us to a Friend

Your eyes probably speed-read across this, but please know that this is a very important part of e-gardens to me. Probably 90 percent of our growth over the past 10 years has been due to friends' referrals, and that's what I'm requesting now. Mama taught me to say "Please" (share us with your fellow gardeners) and "Thank you" (for doing so).

In Closing ...

That's it for another e-gardens. Things are really starting to pick up in horticultural circles, so please encourage other gardeners to join in the fun here.

Until next time, last Thursday of January, keep your plants warm -- and Happy Gardening!

Neil Sperry

Neil Sperry's e-gardens newsletter
400 W Louisiana St
McKinney, TX 75069
Neil Sperry - Publisher
Carolyn Skei - Editor
Gretchen Drew - Administrator