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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

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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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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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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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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Ithaca, NY
Southwest US Winter-flowering Hummer Plants.
Are there winter-flowering plants native to the American Southwest that are used as a food source by hummingbirds? I am a scientific illustrator working on an identification guide to common North Amer...
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Ithaca, NY
Small tree to plant with high bush blueberry plants
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have four wonderful new highbush blueberry plants. I like to plant a native tree nearby to accent them, but cannot find a suitable one. I'd like a tree that is not going ...
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Cortland, NY
Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
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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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Tully, NY
Groundcover to reduce erosion for shady area in New York
We live on a lake with gravelly and clay soils, lots of wind and little sun. I am looking for a native ground cover that will help reduce erosion over some of the steep slopes facing south (under shad...
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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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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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Hamilton, NY
Transplanting Blueberries in NY State
I would like to ask you about transplanting blueberry bushes. When can I move them? 3 of them are at least 10 years old and haven't done well in their current location. I have built a fence to keep t...
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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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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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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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Canton, PA
Native plants for erosion control in sun in Canton PA
We just cleared a bank and need native plants and shrubs to grow for erosion control. Much sun. Thank you.
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Manlius, NY
Problems with pin oak in Manlius, NY
I bought a pin oak when it was ~5 ft tall. It has lived in clay/rock for the last 6 years--healthy, but didn't grow much (no surprise). This spring we planted 3 small boxwoods a few feet from its t...
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madison, NY
Plants to hold a slope in NY
We recently built a house (on a hillside) and now are having some drainage issues on a fairly steep slope (a small creek is forming in the swale the excavator made "deal" with the drainage). Yester...
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Syracuse, NY
Why will my blazing stars not bloom in Syracuse New York?
I have two purple blazing star plants on the west side of my house, about 4 feet apart. They have bloomed the past two summers. This year, one is ready to bloom, but the other has no stalks that wil...
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Syracuse, NY
Non-native tropicals for Syracuse, NY
I live in upstate New York but am a fanatic about tropical plants, palms and banana trees. They're obviously all in pots that I take indoors, and I lose them from time to time. (Had a coconut palm th...
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Syracuse, NY
Shrubs and small trees for a slope in NY
We are looking for a living wall made of shrubs / small trees - no more than 25' for the top of a steep creek bed. We are looking for the best erosion preventing types.
view the full question and answer

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