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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

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

Tallahassee, FL
First flower of the year from Tallahassee FL
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What is the first wildflower to bloom in the North Florida area each year? I appreciate your knowledge and attention to all the questions you are asked.
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Tallahassee, FL
Garden planning for wedding in Tallahassee
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would love your advice on creating a Wildflower Garden Plan. Earlier this spring in Tallahassee (North Florida). I sowed Wildflowers for the first time to see what would blo...
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Tallahassee, FL
Groundcover to prevent erosion in Florida
I live on a hill and put in a new side driveway and now I am seeing erosion along the driveway and can see the bottom of my concrete. Grass won't grow because its all shaded. What would be the best g...
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Monticello, FL
Landscaping trees and shrubs non-toxic to dogs from Monticello FL
We're landscaping and need advice on large and small evergreen trees and shrubs that are native to or will flourish in North Florida. We plan to put in a treeline (large and semi-large trees) as wel...
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Thomasville, GA
Need a drought resistant, maintenance free tree in Thomasville, GA.
I have been through many tree forums and asked several nurseries about a good tree to plant but nobody has provided an adequate answer and I hope you can help. I live in SW Georgia (Zone 8) and need ...
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Thomasville, GA
Living fence line from Thomasville GA
I would like to create a natural fence line on my property in South Georgia. They need to be pretty dense and horse, cow, goat friendly, growing to a height of about 4ft, preferably quickly! Do you ...
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Bainbridge, GA
No berries on dogwoods in GA
I have 4 native dogwood trees. I have owned the property for 4 years. They have never produced berries. Can you tell me why? are the trees male and female, and could I have all males?
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Bainbridge, GA
Native shrubs for wildlife and screening in Georgia
I live in Bainbridge, GA. I have 3 acres and want to plant for wildlife. I would like to plant fast growing native shrubs along the 400' of road that will benefit wildlife and shield us from the tr...
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Moultrie, GA
A stinging plant in Moultrie, GA?
Mr. Smarty Plants, I was walking along in my lawn in some flip-flops and my foot barely grazed my ankle. As soon as it had happened, I felt this horrible pain, like a million tiny, invisible splinter...
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St.George Island, FL
Allergic reaction from vine in St. George Island, FL
In the panhandle of Florida, we have a vine that looks like a blackberry vine. Seems to be poisonous. It has thorns that are dark purple and leaves a blistery, itchy rash. The leaves are green and ruf...
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Valdosta, GA
Memorial garden in Georgia
I would like to plant a memorial garden in memory of my mother. She loved butterflies and bulbs blooming. Our backyard is shaded by large oaks and pines. A pool is located to the right, a large fire...
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Valdosta, GA
Native vs. invasive photosynthesis and CO2 exchange.
My group is conducting an experiment on invasive and native plants in Valdosta, Georgia. Are invasive plant species better adapted to live in Valdosta than native plant species? How do invasive specie...
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Valdosta, GA
What is the fast-growing vine with white flowers growing in my yard? Field bindweed perhaps.
We moved into an existing home with some plants growing that grow very quickly, 1ft. per week, they flower a white to cream colored bloom and when the bloom falls it leaves a olive looking ball. In th...
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Valdosta, GA
Native vs. Invasive Experiment
I asked you earlier about my group's experiment on native vs. invasive plants in Valdosta. Here are what we chose to work with..native: spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) and invasive: wild taro (Col...
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Jennings, FL
Where plants can be purchased in Jennings, FL
I would like to know where I can buy some plants to plant on my property to grow?
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McAlpin, FL
Are Black Olive trees safe to have in pastures in Florida
I am trying to find out if Black Olive trees will be safe to have in our yard and/or pastures. We raise cattle, goats and horses. We need to find some good shade trees that are safe for our animals ...
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Albany, GA
Wildflowers for Area Around Drainage Pond in Georgia
We have a drainage pond behind our business in Albany, Georgia and would like to plant about an acre of wildflowers around it to help with soil erosion and to help keep weeds from taking over again, w...
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Albany, GA
Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
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Nashville, GA
Fast growing shade trees safe for livestock in pasture in Nashville GA
I would like a list of fast growing shade trees that are safe for cows and horses in a pasture.
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Panama City, FL
Native plants for a garden in Panama City, FL
I live in zone 9 in Florida. We are looking for plants which will be attractive all year long for the front of our house's landscaping which faces north. I need a specimen bush which doesn't get ov...
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Panama City, FL
Groundcover or grass for Panama City, Florida
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I live in Panama City Florida and am having great difficulty growing a lawn. I would prefer no lawn as grass, it seems a pointless use of resources but my husband requires gr...
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