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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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Ivyland, PA
Deer resistant trees and shrubs for PA
My yard backs up to woods, and we have a herd of 12 deer who peruse the neighborhood. This winter, the deer went after bushes and trees that they previously have not touched: euonomous and leyland cyp...
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Newtown, PA
Non-blooming of Campsis radicans, Trumpet Vine
I have a trumpet vine that does not bloom. My neighbor has the same plant and it blooms profusely. I have pruned the vine in February as was suggested on another site. It is healthy and is planted a...
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Ambler, PA
Plant with stalk of purple berries
I have a plant that just grows.large hollow purple stalk, purple berries in long clusters , grows very tall any thoughts.. it grows like a weed
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Langhorne, PA
Poor drainage in clay soils in Langhorne PA
Our backyard has very poor drainage, to the point of up to 3 inches of rain can sit until it is evaporated. Talking to neighbors, they informed us that there use to be a terrain that ran through our ...
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Andalusia, PA
Creating a wildlife refuge
We would like to make my yard more of a wildlife refuge by using a portion of the lawn for plants and shrubs and may afford shelter for birds and other wildlife. Can you please recommend what we shoul...
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Lansdale, PA
Need a tree to grow in the middle of a retention pond in Pennsylvania
I have a shallow retention pond in my yard in South Eastern Pennsylvania. The pond is used for rainwater runoff and also for natural springs that are located below the surface. If I plant a tree in th...
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Yardley, PA
Screening trees for PA
We are looking to plant some privacy trees in back of our home. Since our neighbor is directly behind us but we don't want to plant something distasteful to our neighbor. Do you have a recommendation...
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Perkasie, PA
Survival of wildflowers after Hurricane Irene in Perkasie PA
Mr. Smarty Plants, We have (had) a beautiful row of wildflowers and sunflowers along the one side of our house. Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, most of the flowers are matted down from the wind...
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Perkasie, PA
Identification of plant growing with purchased plant
I purchased a heurchera and there was another plant that was growing in the pot with it. I planted both together in my garden. The "other" plant is growing and none of the gardeners around here has ...
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Perkasie, PA
Need identification of a bush with red bumpy berries in PA.
Pennsylvania - We are trying to identify a bush that has small red bumpy berries. The berries are the size of a crab apple or a cherry. Can you tell us what it is?
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Willingboro, NJ
Problem with non-native peach tree in Willingboro NJ
I have a peach tree in my back yard. The tree was in the yard when I bought the house. I have lived at my address almost six years. This year the peach tree is dripping a thick jelly-like sap from ...
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Bucks County, PA
Grasses for Pennsylvania
What type of grass does the best in my area?
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Bucks County, PA
Arborvitae thinning in Bucks County, PA
My arborvitae trees are about 11 ft. tall. I had them put in about 3 years ago. They were 8 to 10 ft. when planted. After the first year, I have noticed they are thinning to the point where you can se...
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Trenton, NJ
Differences in Plant Growth
How do plants grow differently?
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Trenton, NJ
Springbeauty in New Jersey and Dog Allergies
Is Claytonia virginica in New Jersey and could my dog be allergic to it?
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Wynnewood, PA
Evergreen for privacy in Pennsylvania
I would like to plant a tall, thin evergreen in my yard (the taller and thinner the better). Privacy is a goal, so we're looking for dense branches. The area gets full sun, and the soil in this area ...
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Wynnewood, PA
Winter-interest plants in Wynnewood PA
Could you please suggest flowering plants that provide winter interest after drying out (ie with seed pods or interesting dried flower heads)? I'm looking for something that grows in full sun. Thank ...
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Moorestown, NJ
ID of plant from florist in Moorestown NJ
I recently purchased a cut stem from the local florist for an autumn flower arrangement. The leaves are very, very small and bamboo-like in looks. They are not oval and are 1/8 inches long. The bra...
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Moorestown, NJ
Information on creating and maintaining a meadow
Would you please share information about creating and maintaining a meadow?
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Philadelphia, PA
Problems with Blackeyed Susans in Philadelphia
For 8 years I successfully grew Black Eyed Susans in a fairly large area in my garden. For the last two years,almost immediately upon pushing through the ground they develop black spots and then appe...
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Philadelphia, PA
Wildflowers for a slope in PA
I've got a steep southeast-facing slope near the house that is mostly overrun with day lilies. It gets plenty of morning sun. I've had some luck with goldenrod and New England aster along the steps ...
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