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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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Questions From Near You

Fairfax, VA
Best way to plant sedges on a slope in Fairfax, VA.
Best way to plant sedges on a slope. WE are in the LONG process of trying to convert our backyard to a native wildlife friendly habitat. The slope is about 30 degress and it's a large space 1/2 acr...
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Fairfax, VA
Small native flowering tree for Virginia
Could you recommend a small flowering tree (8-10' mature size) to plant in front garden next to the house. Full sun. Something that doesn't have invasive roots that would damage the house. Thanks...
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Fairfax, VA
Nectar from Lonicera sempervirens edible from Fairfax VA
Is the nectar from Lonicera sempervirens edible?
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Fairfax, VA
Small evergreen shrubs for Fairfax VA
I have a 2' wide 6' long strip between a brick wall and the front walk leading up to the entry way. Lavender has been a pain and I would like to replace it with an attractive evergreen alternate. ...
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fairfax, VA
Mosquito-deterring plants for shady hillside
We have a part to full shaded hill side/ native woodland area that was once covered with english ivy..we managed to get rid of all the ivy but now we are overtaken with violets..maybe they are even na...
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Fairfax, VA
Invasives species experiment from Fairfax VA
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some friends that need an experiment on Invasive Species fast. They are in 11th grade at Robinson secondary school. Are you able to help? Its due in June and they don'...
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Fairfax, VA
Improperly prepared building site in Virginia
Hi, I have a question about planting on newly-built homesite. We just moved into a new home in DC suburbs (Northern VA) and the landscape is the worst of the builder grade. There are prickly junipers ...
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Fairfax, VA
Cultivars off native plants attracting pollinators from Fairfax VA
When trying to create a native garden/habitat- should you avoid using cultivars of the native plant? Nurseries around us keep trying to tell us that using a cultivar of the native plant we actually wa...
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Farifax, VA
Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
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Oakton, VA
Plants to put between stepping stones in Virginia
We are a public school in Northern Virginia and are looking for native plants that could be planted between heavily used stepping stones and could withstand some foot traffic (mostly in a sunny spot, ...
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Oakton, VA
Splash-proof plants from Oakton VA
Hi Mr Smarty Plants, Re: low, evergreen ground cover, Northern Virginia The bare soil around my freshly painted screen porch splashes up onto the white framing when it rains so I am looking for ...
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Vienna, VA
Removing nut grass and wild strawberry in Vienna VA
Mr. Smarty Pants, How do I get rid of wild strawberry plants and nut grass in my large garden bed? I have rosemary and thyme already there and don't want to use a harmful pesticide (kids and pets...
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Vienna, VA
Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
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Burke, VA
Possible disease on Eastern Redbud
Our Eastern Redbud appears to be suffering from our recent drought. The leaves are turning brown in July/August on a few branches. A few black spots appear on the leaves before they turn brown. Ot...
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Falls Church, VA
Need suggestions for plants for a 45 degree slope in Falls Church, VA.
Have a 45 degree hillside 50 feet wide by 60 feet long on north side of 26 story building. Very little sun with the need for soil retention plants. Would like a native plant or plants to cover area...
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Springfield, VA
Mystery plant in VA
We bought a new house with an established garden bed last fall. We have a tall single stemmed plant with long slightly twisted leaves that looks like a tall tulip plant. However, it is just starting...
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Springfield, VA
Planting a redbud in VA
What is the best time of year to plant Redbud (Cercis canadensis)in Burke, VA, 22152 - fall or spring or does it matter? And is there a certain size tree that is best to purchase for greatest chance o...
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Springfield, VA
Native vs Non-native Insect Host Plants
My understanding of a host plant is that it is a plant that an insect will lay its eggs on. Is this correct? If this is so then can a cultivar be a host plant for the same insect? I have read Mr. Doug...
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Springfield, VA
Wildlife management programs for tax exemptions
I own a property in La Grange, Texas on which we're considering a wildlife management exemption. Would there be a program that also provides tax advantages for growing wildflowers?
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Centerville, VA
Garden problems from Centreville VA
Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
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Centreville, VA
Percentage of flowers that close up at night
Percentage-wise, approximately how many species of flowers close up at night? Is there a list anywhere?
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