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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Questions From Near You

Brisbane, Australia
Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
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PACIFICA, CA
Control of Acacia escaping cultivation in California
My backyard has been overrun by acacia shrubs. How and what can I do to permanently rid the area of this weed? I hold an agricultural QAL so I have access to herbicides if there are effective ones a...
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San Francisco, CA
Eliminating unwanted vine on arbor in San Francisco
There is a vine growing on our arbor, it has sickle-shaped pods and is crushing the arbor, how do we get rid of it?
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San Francisco, CA
Propagating Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak)
I am a gardener for the city of San Francisco. I am just curious about the best way to prepare an acorn from Quercus agrifolia for planting. I have heard many ideas about using sandpaper and microwavi...
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San Francisco, CA
How to keep plants alive in a pot beside a patio waterfall.
Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a waterfall on my patio and I can't keep my plants alive in the flower pot next to waterfall. Is that beacuse of algae produced by waterfall? If so, can you please recomme...
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San Francisco, CA
Root growth on non-native Pittisporum Tobira from San Francisco
How do the roots grow and spread for the Pittosporum Tobira shrub? I have one that is about 20 feet tall and wonder how to care for it? Do you have a picture of how the roots grow?
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San Francisco, CA
About Salvia superba
About 10 years ago, nurseries were offering a small salvia, called salvia superba or meadow sage. A few years later, "May Night" and "Blue Hill" appeared on the market similar to this first sal...
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San Francisco, CA
Is there an automated image download function for the NPIN Image Gallery?
Hi, I have a database/web technical question. Do you provide an interface to retrieve photos from your website programatically? Thanks!
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San Francisco, CA
Removing juniper roots from San Francisco
Topic-Juniper Tree Root Removal (agh!) Needs-3 removed yet roots remain, some growing UNDER the cement, driveway and house!!! (under growth = ~3" as far as I can determine, thus far). Question-Do I ...
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SF, CA
Pustules on geranium
I have a geranium that has developed oblong red/brown pustules/raised bumps on the undersides of the lower leaves. The foliage around the bumps is stil green but everything else has yellowed
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Hillsborough, CA
Deer-resistant groundcover for sunny hillside in California
we are looking for a deer resistant, drought resistant ground cover that we can grow from seed. we have a large,partial sunny hillside, well drained,that is cover with oak leaves and pine needles..and...
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North of San Francisco, CA
Inadvisability of allowing native orchids to cross-breed
Hello LBJ Native plants helper! This is the perfect place for me to ask a question that has been very perplexing to me. I live in Northern California and am doing research for naturalization of the te...
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Oakland, CA
Problems with Thuja in Oakland CA
I have a Thuja hedge about 100' long. Part of this hedge and a well established Rhododendron have been diagnosed with Armillaria mellea that is spreading. I see the bunches of mushrooms growing eve...
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Foster City, CA
Privacy screen for garden and pool in California
I need a fast growing screen for privacy. Here are the issues:1. we have a 3 story apartment building looking right into our backyard. so trees need to be at least 15' tall and dense. 2. we have a po...
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Belvedere, CA
Invasive horesetail in Belvedere CA
Can I ever get rid of horsetail? It was planted without a barrier and is now in my garden, not quite everywhere yet.
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San Carlos, CA
Wildflowers for hill with erosion in San Carlos, CA
What wildflowers would you suggest for our hills that have erosion, low ground cover in San Carlos, California?
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Berkeley, CA
Long term storam of Lupinus arboreus seeds
Hi - I was wondering what the best way to store lupine seeds (for long-term storage and maximum viability) is? I am a graduate student at Berkeley studying Lupinus arboreus. We have been storing seeds...
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Berkeley, CA
Vine for planter box in Berkeley CA
I live in Berkeley, CA and want to plant a vine to crawl up a trellis on my deck. It gets sun most of the day. I need to use planter boxes because there is only patio below and would like something ...
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Berkeley, CA
Evergreen tree for California screen
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need a tree for screen and privacy. Our neighbors are building a second story. We will loose our privacy and our patio will be like a fish bowl. I will plant it about 2 fee...
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Berkeley, CA
Cat deterents
I was wondering if there is such a plant that will deter cats from going in your gardens. I have a problem with them using my garden as a litter box, and had heard that there was a plant that the...
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Berkeley, CA
Care of poppy plants
I bought a tiny poppy grow kit at Target for 99 cents. Amazingly, they have grown into numerous large and very healthy plants, though they don't all appear to be the same species. Some have grown to ...
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