Oh my. What a year. COVID, hurricanes, snowstorms, and who knows what else. Unfortunately, there are many things that we have no control over, with weather topping the list. Sadly, with our record freezing temperatures we will now have to deal with damaged, dying, or dead plants. Texas is no…

Dear Neil: You often recommend eastern redcedar and other junipers for landscape screens. Are those the same plants as the “mountain cedars” we hear in the allergy reports?

Well, we are a week past Snowmageddon or SnowVid-21 or whatever you want to call it. Wow, was that ever an arctic blast! That was miserable. In this part of Texas, we thankfully don’t experience that kind of cold very often. Most cold snaps, even if they bring snow or ice, don’t usually hang…

Every morning when I get up, the first birds I hear are the warblings of eastern bluebirds. They are year-round residents in East Texas and a national treasure. I once put up more than 100 bluebird nest boxes in my rural community. Valentine’s Day is historically the time to put up new or cl…

February has a complicated history. A quick study of Roman, Julian and Gregorian calendars reminded me that even calendars could be political. Did you know that once February was the last month of the year? We can consider ourselves lucky that February’s place in the calendar has been stable…

Dear Neil: This is a 3-year-old dwarf apple tree. As you can see in the photo, all of the growth is on one side of the graft line. The opposite side has no bark. Do I have to leave the tree staked? My concern is that I’ll come out some morning and find the tree broken off.

Valentine’s Day is important for those who love gardening, too. So, make sure to put these three things on your calendar each year: bluebird and martin houses up and cleaned, roses pruned and potatoes planted.

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