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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Sandy Hook, CT
Stabilizing a sand bank in VT
We have a summer cottage in Burlington, Vt. and need to stabilize a mound of sand. The "bank" we are trying to stabilize has partial sun and faces south. It measures approx 4' high and is 30' long...
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Sandy Hook, CT
Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
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Newtown, CT
Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
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Southbury, CT
Wound to ash tree in Connecticut
My parents live in CT and there is a ravine on the side of their property with a beautiful ash tree on the bank. A week or two ago a drunk driver crashed their car into the ash. Now the tree has a l...
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Oxford, CT
Effective plant cover for utility boxes
In Connecticut, we have utility boxes for underground electricity and cable located in front of our house. The builder has landscaped around them: first with rhododendrons and then azaleas and both ...
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Danbury, CT
Problems with philodendron bipinnatifidum
I have a philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloum) that is now over 20 years old. It has been growing like crazy for the past 2 months, but has been inundated with pests since January, when I repotted it ...
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Danbury, CT
Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
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Danbury, CT
Native wetland plants nursery
I need to replant a disturbed wetlands area in Brookfield, CT. I have a list of plants (Sparganium americanum, sagittaria latifolia, pontederia cordata, peltandra virginica ) etc. Where to I go to o...
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Danbury, CT
Help with Science Fair project from Danbury CT
Hello Mr Smarty, I was going to do my science project on weevils and their impact on milfoil. The weevils are in hibernation until spring and my project is due in mid-Feb. Any suggestions on a simil...
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Seymour, CT
Privacy Screen options for Seymour CT
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants: Looking for a quick growing privacy hedge for a home in Seymour CT. Thank you very much, I appreciate your help.
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Trumbull, CT
Holly attacked by deer in Connecticut
My holly bush was eaten by deer. Will the leaves come back or is it done?
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Derby, CT
Looking for copper beach (Fagus sylvatica)
I would like to purchase a copper beech tree to plant in CT as a gift. Where can I find one to purchase?
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Naugatuck, CT
Native Asclepias spp. for Monarchs in Connecticut
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Naugatuck Connecticut and I want to hatch my own monarch butterflies. I know that Monarchs like to hatch eggs on Milkweed plants. There are many types of milkweed p...
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Washington, CT
How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
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Ridgefield, CT
Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
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Ridgefield, CT
Need help identifying a deciduous weedy shrub in Ridgefield, CT.
My overgrown property is blanketed in a deciduous weedy shrub. Its not Autumn Olive. The stems have large thorns and the shrub is comprised of many thick woody stems that, when cut have a distinctive ...
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Woodbridge, CT
Deer-resistant evergreens for southern CT.
We live on a deer path in southern Connecticut. What native evergreen tree can we plant which will not be eaten to death by the deer?
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Orange, CT
Fast-growing evergreen tree to hide power lines
Live in Orange Connecticut and need a tree that grows fast and tall to cover the power lines which are quite tall. I'm thinking evergreen type trees so that the during the winter it provides the cov...
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Wilton, CT
What plants are the most deer resistant in Connecticut?
Please advise me as to what plants are the most deer resistant and native to Wilton, CT. Most importantly, what evergreen shrubs and perennials will best survive?
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South Salem, NY
Identification of small plant
Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light...
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Milford, CT
The most common wildflower in North America
Hi Mr. Smartyplants, What the most common wildflower in North America? My friend thinks it's the oxeye daisy. Is this correct? I work for a puzzle publishing company, and am doing research for a the...
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