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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Questions From Near You

Old Orchard Beach, ME
Container plants for deck in Maine
I live on the ocean in Maine. Fourth floor deck. I want to plant containers and boxes with annuals that can withstand a lot of wind. We get mostly sun but some shade as well. Of course, there is the s...
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Saco, ME
Wildflowers for leach field in Maine
I am looking for a wildflower mix that would suitable to plant over a leach field. What plants should I look to avoid?
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Portland, ME
Plant identification
I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
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Portland, ME
Low maintenance native plants for sloping lawn in Maine
Hello, we live in Maine and have clay-ey soil with a lot of sun. I suspect the soil is acidic as well. We would like to replace at least part of our small front lawn with native ground cover or gras...
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Raymond, ME
Wildflowers and grasses for a septic field in Maine
Mr. Smarty Pants: I want to know the length of root systems for native Maine wildflowers that will be planted over a septic system drain field in Maine. Also any grasses you can think of. This area ...
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York, ME
Care of lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
How do I care for a Lemon Cypress tree? Does it require a lot of sun? How often should I water it? It is 18" high and I have it in a pot on my screen porch. Thank-you
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Wakefield, NH
Blue rug juniper native to New Hampshire
Is the blue rug juniper native to New Hampshire? I'm considering it for ground cover near lake in zip 03872.
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Portsmouth, NH
Non-native lilac in a pot in New Hampshire
I live in an apartment with a balcony that gets morning sun but is in the shade by 3 pm. Can I plant a lilac in a pot? What perennial would do well in New Hampshire? I love lilacs and would like to...
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Durham, NH
Compare Natives to Lawn for Carbon Footprint Benefits in Durham, New Hampshire
Are there carbon sequestration rate tables for turf (lawn) and bushes, shrubs, trees? I want to compare the carbon footprint benefit of lawn versus the same area put into native plantings.
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Hampton, NH
Planting Lupinus perennis and Lupinus polyfyllus together in NH
I got a seed package with both Lupinous perennis and polyphyllus combined. Would they be okay to plant together in NH?
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Hampton, NH
Source for sea lavender in Hampton NH
Where in southeast New Hampshire or Northeast Massachusetts can I buy sea lavender, please? Thank you.
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Northwood, NH
Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
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Conway, NH
Identification of a Kerry bush on Cape Cod
I think the "bush" is called a Kerry bush - grows wild on Cape Cod - has little yellow "rose-like" flowers. - Is this the correct name and how can I make it thrive in New Hampshire?
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South Paris, ME
Appropriate mulch for strawberries in Maine
Can mulch (like cedar mulch- kinds used in flower gardens) be used between rows of strawberries? Can you also suggest how far apart lupine species need to be so that they wont interbreed? Thank ...
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South Paris, ME
Crossbreedding of Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis
Hello, can Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis crossbreed? I have both and want to keep perennis genetically pure, is the only way to do this is to get rid of the polyphyllus?
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East Kingston, NH
Identity of night-glowing object in tree in New Hampshire
I know this sounds crazy but last night when my husband stepped outside he noticed a purplish glow in one of the trees. At first he thought some kind of animal but when throwing a rock at it it did no...
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East Kingston, NH
Report on object glowing in tree in New Hampshire
Hello again Mr Smartpants. I commented about a purple glow coming from a tree in previous comments. Since then they have multiplied and are spreading to different trees. We believe we may have it narr...
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Laconia, NH
Eliminating evasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet)
I have Oriental Bittersweet growing pervasively in my shrub garden, strangling my shrubs and growing into my beautiful Victorian porch. I can't keep up with it! What can I do?
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Newburyport, MA
Bottlebrush buckeye not leafing out from Newburyport MA
We have a bottlebrush buckeye bush that has grown and blossomed for 16 years. This spring the bush failed to produce any leaves and there are no buds in anticipation of leaves. There are a few smaller...
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Rowley, MA
Native, low maintenance lawn for Rowley MA
I am in Northeastern (coastal) Massachusetts and I am looking to replace my (currently high maintenance, water intensive, invasive species) lawn with a native, low maintenance species (or mix). Many o...
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Haverhill, MA
Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
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