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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

Mohegan Lake, NY
Flowering Dogwood for NY
Hello - can you advise me on a disease-resistant/hardy dogwood? Every nursery I've visited has discouraged me from planting dogwoods. What would you recommend? I live in Westchester County, NY
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Cortlandt Manor, NY
Trees to replace ones lost in Westchester County, NY
We lost a large number of trees in the forest adjacent to our home, and I plan to replant them. What species do you recommend to plant the area with natives and to keep it looking "natural."
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Cortlandt Manor, NY
Native alternatives for non-native, invasive bamboo in New York
I hope you can help me. This is not about wildflowers. I'm interested in planting bamboo as a screen (25'+). I know all the pros/cons and would need to have a nursery to put in barrier. I need some...
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Cortlandt Manor, NY
Native plants suitable for rock garden in New York
I'd like to start a rock garden. The area is very rocky, the soil is shallow and it's partially shaded. I'd like mostly perennials that flower from spring to fall. I hope to make some purchases fr...
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Garrison, NY
Trees for privacy and filtering dust in NY
I live on a very busy, DUSTY, dirt road in Putnam County NY. (zip code 10524) What is the best, fast growing evergreen that I can use for dust control and privacy? I would prefer something that requi...
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Mahopac, NY
Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
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Somers, NY
Plants for shade native to New York
I am gradually trying to convert my garden to all natives. I am working in a shaded area under a maple tree. Are there any varieties of epimediums/barrenwort or hellebores that are native to the nor...
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Katonah, NY
Rain garden plants for Ketonah, NY
Rain garden plant selections for lower NY state
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Mount Kisco, NY
Privacy Screening Plant for New York Narrow Site
I need privacy screening on the side of my house in Mount Kisco, New York located 40 miles north of New York City. The area gets plenty of sun but is somewhat narrow. What evergreen bushes or trees ...
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Ossining, NY
Locating sources for bracken fern in New York
I am looking for bracken fern plants to plant in my garden. Where can I find them?
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Carmel, NY
Trees & Shrubs for a NY Slope
Our community has a large steep slope (100'high by at least 600' wide) that is sunny & dry. The builders planted "wild flower seeds" on the slope that is now just weeds. We would like to know what...
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Pleasantville, NY
Plants for elementary school grow lab in New York
What can we grow in a grow lab in our elementary school library from seed now that will bloom by June or what interesting looking established plants can we put in this grow lab that will have meaning ...
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Pleasantville, NY
Native perennial roof garden plants for New York
I am looking for perennial roof gardens plants, sedum, hen and chickens, native plants. I am in zone six. They will have three inches of perilite, gravel, and compost. Can you give me a good local so...
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New City, NY
Suggestion for plants to replace grass in semi-shade in NY
I have an area that is in semi-shade but gets about 4-5 hours of sunlight in the summer. Instead of grass I would like to perhaps use wild flowers or even prairie type grasses. Any suggestions??
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Westchester County, NY
Native Annual Plant Substitute for Impatiens
What can be used as an annual flowering plant to substitute for the diseased impatiens? Is Vinca one you would suggest?
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Beacon, NY
Shrubs growing in riparian areas of Hudson River, NY
What are the five most common native shrubs that grow in riparian areas in Hudson Valley? Interested especially in plants that grow near/along the Hudson River (as opposed to inland woodland freshwate...
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Thornwood, NY
Overwintering Cardinal Flower in Thornwood NY
I have 6 Cardinal Flower plants in planters. They have mulch on top to keep them moist. Can they stay in the planters all winter? Do I cut the stalks before winter comes or leave as is?
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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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Newburgh, NY
Cutting back achillea in New York
Last summer I planted three gorgeous hearty achillea with flat, yellow tops, about 3 feet high or more each, in my sunny garden. But after they were done flowering, I left those very pretty brown stem...
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Newburgh, NY
Plants to grow between flagstones in the Hudson River Valley of New York
I live in newburgh, ny & have aquired some bluestone. I want to do a walkway but will need a low mowable ground cover to go between the stones (not enough bluestone to cover the area. I know I have ...
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Pound Ridge, NY
Source of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass
Will you kindly refer me to a grower from whom I may purchase plugs of Tridens flavus, purple-top grass. for a meadow installation in zone 6.
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