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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

Thompson, PA
Plants for a pond bank in NE Pennsylvania
I had a 3/4 acre pond built this fall in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Susquehanna county; zone 4). The pond banks are packed, hard rocky clay. What plants can I plant in the 3 foot bank between pond ...
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Forest City, PA
Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
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Waymart, PA
Early blooming wildflowers for PA
What is the earliest wildflower to bloom other than the mountain laurel in Upper Northeastern PA? (near Honesdale, PA)
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Binghamton, NY
Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in NY
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm doing research into riverbank erosion in Broome County, NY, and I was wondering if you had some sort of resource that would be able to tell me which species of grasses...
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binghamton, NY
More on bluebonnets
I am a displaced Austinite - As of last week now living in upstate New York (Binghamton). As I was leaving town - a friend presented me with a pound bag of bluebonnet seeds. A thoughtful gift - but I...
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Dalton, PA
Height of plastic tree guards to protect against deer
How high do the plastic tree guards used to prevent deer rubbing need to be? I live in northeastern Pa.
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Beach Lake, PA
Plant identification of tall stalk with many thorns
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants: After we raked all the leaves, I found three or four plants on my property that are thin tall stalks with many thorns. Leaves are just growing, so I cannot describe them. ...
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Hawley, PA
Hardy plant with minimal care for shade in dry soil
I have a weekend house in Hawley, PA where I try to garden - often with poor results. There is a spot on the northeast corner of my foundation where I have put plant after plant - but none of them su...
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Hamden, NY
Erosion control in New York
I am in zone 5/4 New York and I recently purchased a house with two erosion problems- 1. a seasonal stream has cut a gorge about 20 'deep X 40' long.Mature hemlocks are toppling into this hole. it i...
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Maine, NY
Moving milkweed to another location in Maine, NY
I live in up-state New York. I have a 'patch' of milkweed growing where I don't really want it to grow - but have left it because the butterflies and bees love it. I would like it to grow in my ba...
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lackawaxen, PA
Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
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west pittston, PA
Perennial plants native to northeastern Pennsylvania
What perennial plants are native to northeastern Pennsylvania?
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Oneonta, NY
Fruit bearing trees and shrubs for wildlife in NY
What are the best fruit bearing trees and berry bushes to grow in Oneonta New York. We are working on a project for the Oneonta Job Corps that is a green initiative. When we buy the fruit bearing tr...
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Tobyhanna, PA
Will deer eat bellflowers?
Are deer attracted to the bellflower? Will they eat it?
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Tobyhanna, PA
Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.
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Margaretville, NY
Recommendations for a slope in Margaretville, NY
Mr. Smarty Plants, We really love all of your ideas on our 60 degree bank needing plants to keep the topsoil in place. The grasses you suggested are beautiful!!!! They will look incredible against the...
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Margaretville, , NY
Source for native plants in Margaretville NY
Mr. Smarty Plants: Thank you so much for your recommendations for the Margaretville, NY!!! I am thrilled with the colors of everything you recommended, especially the beautiful grasses and the shru...
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Margaretville, NY
Deer-resistant plants for wildlife in Margaretville NY
We have a 60 degree bank behind a recently completed retaining wall that is mostly rocky with a light topsoil. We are going to put down grass just to keep the topsoil in place, but someone suggested ...
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Ashley, PA
Norway Pine vs. Norway Spruce
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is a Norway Pine the same species of tree as a Norway Spruce?
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Sayre, PA
Plant identification
I live in NE PA and have two plants that are growing under our pine tree. One has 2 leaves and and looks a lot like lily of the valley and the other has 6-10 leaves with white berries on the end. I wa...
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Milford, PA
Ferns that smell like cucumber
Are there ferns that smell like cucumber?
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