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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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Edmonton, KY
Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
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Hodgenville, KY
Problems with non-native petunias from Hodgeville, KY
Planting petunias again in a house border bed.. It has been a tradition for 30+ years to plant the small upright petunias in this particular bed. It started as a Mothers Day gift to my Grandmother, ...
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Bowling Green, KY
Tree ordinances re Magnolia Ladybird Johnson tree
What exactly is a Ladybird Johnson tree? Also, is there any type of federal or state law(s) that prohibits the cutting, trimming or removal of a LadyBird Johnson tree? Thank you for your time!
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Bowling Green, KY
How is native range changed in the scientific record?
I am accessioning Pachysandra procumbens for the Baker Arboretum. These plants were made from cuttings of a native stand here in Warren County (Western KY). How does the record get amended to...
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Bowling Green, KY
Wildflowers for an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, Kentucky
We would like to know what types of wildflowers could easily be grown in an outdoor classroom in Bowling Green, KY.
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White Mills, KY
Non-blooming toad lily in Kentucky
I have had a toad lily for three years and it has never bloomed. What do I need to do?
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Granville, TN
Plants for a steep lot in Tennessee
I have built a home on a very steep lot (approx 1 1/2 acres)in Northern Central Tenn in Jackson County. The lot is too steep to mow and some of it is too steep to stand on comfortably. My question is...
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Leitchfield, KY
Non-native mimosa failing to bloom in Leitchfield KY
I have a medium size mimosa tree here in KY that usually blooms beautifully; it did not bloom at all this year. It leafed out well, needs a few dead limbs pruned, but seems otherwise healthy. Please t...
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Springfield, KY
Plants for pool area in Kentucky
We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside pl...
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Jamestown, TN
Plant identification
I have found a small tree like plant that is small and the stem or trunk was thin and the leaves look like fern leaves. I also found a larger one it was thicker and closer to the ground the leaves wer...
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Portland, TN
Mystery plant in hay fields in Tennessee
I found plants growing in my hay fields that are about 4 feet tall, large leaves and blooms (ball shaped) bell flowers.That is, the blooms looks like a pom pom with about 50 to 80 small flowers "hang...
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Cookeville, TN
Native plant initiatives for universities in Southeast U.S.
Hello, I am an undergraduate student majoring in botany at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. I am a native plant enthusiast and would like to promote n.p.'s on campus. Do you kn...
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bardstown, KY
Deer resistant vines for Kentucky
Is there a vine I can grow on my garden fence to deter deer?
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Parksville, KY
Identification of alien-looking plant
I have a plant that grows 4-5 feet tall, it has pretty "alien looking" flowers with "pods" under flower, and marijuana looking leaves and smell. My neighbor gave me a start last year, and it has ...
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Gallatin, TN
Native plants for roadside in Gallatin TN
What native plant would you suggest that we try to establish on 100 feet of road frontage which gets full afternoon sun? The soil is mostly clay, and it's on a rather sleep hill about 10 feet high. ...
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Gallatin, TN
Smarty Plants on Echinacea paradoxa
What kind of habitat (soil, sun, water etc) does Echinacea paradoxa like to live in?
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Gallatin, TN
Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
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Radcliff, KY
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Watertown, TN
Planting native blueberry bushes in Tennessee
I have long wished to have wild blueberry bushes at my home. They are native to mountainous regions of my state, but I don't know whether or not it is reasonable to expect to be able to grow them wh...
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White House, TN
Recipe for cherry jelly from wild black cherry tree in Tennessee
I think that we have a wild black cherry tree on our farm. I understand that the fruit is edible. Do you have a recipe for jelly or any other food product using this fruit?
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Hardinsburg , KY
Identity of red flower that looks like a blue bell
Looking for the name of a flower that grows in Breckinridge county Kentucky. It's looks similar to the blue bell but blood red in color. Any help is appreciated.
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