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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

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

Hancock, NH
Turf grasses and alternatives for NH
I live in Hancock, NH, just north of Peterborough. We just bought a relatively new house that pretty-much has no lawn and minimal landscaping. Can you (or anyone) suggest native lawn grass alternati...
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Rindge, NH
Coltsfoot invasive in Rindge NH
I live in Rindge NH. My question is how do I stop colts foot from taking over my land? It is getting out of hand.
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Rindge, NH
Evergreen shrubs for Rindge, NH
We are building a new house and I want to get shrubs/bushes that stay green all year long (ie:hollyberry)to put in front and around our house. Which of these would go closest to the house? I'd like t...
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Rindge, NH
Shrubs for New Hampshire
Will be landscaping next Spring: Do you think using 'Ilex Crenata'-Japanese Holly together with variegated Euonymus (species: fortunei) as shrub hedges in front of our house is a good combo? Do they...
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Swanzey, NH
Controlling invasives and using natives in New Hampshire
What ideas would you have for marrying the subjects of native plants and invasives? This summer I volunteered to work with our town planner and recycling director on a new initiative called SNIP-IT!: ...
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Swanzey, NH
Importance of native plants for wildlife.
I just read Donald Tellamy's new book,Bringing Nature Home. He documents how native plants provide more nourishment for wildlife than introduced plants. The definition of native plants that I use is ...
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Winchendon, MA
Non-native, invasive Datura sprouting from compost
Hi, I have a plant growing out of some compost we purchased this spring and no one can tell me what it is. It's about 4 ft. tall, the stem is maroon like rhubarb and it produces 4-5 in. tubular lig...
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Warner, NH
Plant with red berries that grows near the Warner River
We live next to a river, the Warner River, and every year these plants with red berries appear next to the river. we have search for name to no avail: the leaf is unique with one large spade shaped ...
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Manchester, NH
Varmints disturbing plants in NH
I planted herbs and perennials, then put paper down and bark. At first an animal just disturbed the paper around the plants, exposing it. Today two plants are dug up and are completely gone. No sig...
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Manchester, NH
Shrubs or trees for privacy screen in New Hampshire
I am looking to put up a living privacy wall in my yard. My husband and I just bought a house in Derry, NH, and have a rather large backyard (approx. 1 acre), which seems to get continuous sun. We h...
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Concord, NH
Bird attracting plants in Northeast U.S.
What plants will attract birds in zone 6 (Northeast) in the spring and early summer?
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Concord, NH
Fast growing native trees for firewood in New Hampshire
Can you tell me what FAST growing tree is best for a planned crop? We plan to generate new tree crops every year. We want to use this wood for burning in indoor wood stoves and maybe in an outdoor woo...
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Fitchburg, MA
Native plants for gravesite in North Central Massachusetts
I live in North Central Mass. Would like to plant something on my parents gravesite that would not be invasive or require a lot of care. Any suggestions? I just took 2 shrubs out that had become way...
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Fitchburg, MA
Dutchman's pipe vine dying in Fitchburg ME
I have 2 dutchmans pipe vines they have been growing for over 20 years. Now all of a sudden the foliage is wilting and dying. The other one is completely fine. What would cause this?
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Templeton, MA
Plant identification
We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
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Athol, MA
Keeping bonsai plants alive in Athol MA
For the past 12 years I have raised bonsai plants in AL and FL, but recently moved back to central MA. My collections consists of Japanese maples, ginkos, bald cypress and ficus benjamina. I have a ...
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Westminster, MA
Orange eggs on milkweed plants
Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
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Nashua, NH
Failure of non-native mock orange to bloom
We have a mature mock orange shrub that is very healthy but has not bloomed at all. What can we do?
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E Dummerston, VT
Defenses against imported red leaf beetles on lilies
I've recently discovered small red beetles of some kind on my lilies, which they are happily devouring. I've been picking them off with my fingers and squashing them, but I'd like a better alterna...
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Groton, MA
Blue wildflowers for Massachusetts meadow garden
I am restoring a 1980's era barn in Massachusetts. To celebrate the roll-out of the restored barn, I would like to plant wildflowers in the hayfield next to the barn (aprox. 3 acres). I would like ...
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Leominster, MA
Source of seeds for helianthus salicifolius (Willowleaf sunflower)
Where can I purchase seeds for helianthus salicifolius?
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