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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

Lake Forest, IL
Understory plants for Lake Forest IL
We have a large mostly hardwood lot in Lake County. It floods when it rains hard and remains damp most of the year due to the amount of shade and clay based top soil. Besides the hardwood trees and ...
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Highland Park, IL
Texas bluebonnets for Illinois
Thank you Mr. Smarty Plants. I will be closely checking the variety of Texas bluebonnets that I tried to plant. For the record, I did soak them first to loosen the seed shell. I think we probably just...
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Libertyville, IL
Fringe tree appropriate for Libertyville IL
I live in Libertyville Illinois and admired a fringe tree on the Biltmore Estate. Are the weather & soil conditions conducive to having a fringe tree in this area?
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Mundelein, IL
Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
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Gurnee, IL
Groundcover for primary school in Illinois
I'm looking for a ground cover to plant on primary school grounds. It will need to be able to handle foot traffic. Is there anything that flowers and is a perennial? The area gets full sun and is b...
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Hawthorn Woods, IL
Screening plants for edge of pond in Illinois
I have a backyard pond that I am restoring, adding aeration, plants, etc. Unfortunately, there is a farmer that stores old equipment on the shore of my pond and refuses to move it. It is an eyesore....
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Glenview, IL
Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
We have a generous stand of white trillium that has been under the shade of a white oak for many years. Now the 100+ year old oak has died and the trilliums are in the sun. Are we in danger of losin...
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arlington heights, IL
Fragrant foundation plants for sunny, dry area in Illinois
We need suggestions of what to plant on the south side of our house heave sun and rather dry soil. We just took out old dead bushes. Would prefer something that flowers and smells nice that would gr...
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Wilmette, IL
Annabelle hydrangeas blossoms drooping to ground in Wilmette, IL
I have a row of Annabelle Hydrangeas that become very heavy and droop over the entire width of the bed. I would like to know what I can use for support so that they will stand up and allow me to plan...
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Wilmette, IL
Plant identification
I live north of Chicago. I have been Gardening just about everything forever. I finally got a surprise gift from a migrating bird, squirrel or possibly my kitchen composting. Apparently from a seed gr...
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Des Plaines, IL
Vine for a trellis in Illinois
I live in Nortrhern Illinois and am trying to keep my garden as native as possible. I would like to grow something on a trellis in part sun. It looks like a regional clematis is a possibility, but d...
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Round Lake, IL
Plants for privacy in Round Lake IL
I recently purchased a house in northern Illinois that overlooks a busy walking path. The yard is 80 feet wide and currently has a 4 foot chain link fence, but I would like to add something for priva...
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Wauconda, IL
Plant identification of vine with purple fruit
Illinois: I have a vine, red stems purple fruit with grape like clusters (sweet.hope it wasn't poisonous)What is it?
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Evanston, IL
Over-trimming of native linden tree
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, My huge beautiful linden tree was just way over trimmed. It is planted near the house, so they cut most of the branches on that side all the way back to the trunk. I now have...
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evanston, IL
Growing native grasses in containeers in Illinois
Hi. How well would native grasses grow in container gardens in Illinois? What soil would you suggest? Thanks.
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Evanston, IL
Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?
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Evanston, IL
Illinois native grasses for shade
Hello, my grass has died in a very shady area (standard buffalo grass), and I took this as an opportunity to plant some native grass varieties. I originally thought of buffalo grass, but learned that ...
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Evanston, IL
Planting annuals around young oak in Evanston IL
is it OK to plant annuals (i.e. salvias, impatiens or dusty millers) around the base of a young oak tree (2-3 years old)?
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Park Ridge, IL
Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.
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Lake Villa, IL
Ground cover for shady slope in Illinois
Dear Mr. Smarty: I have a shady sloping area that I am trying to cover with low fast growing, perennials that will keep maintenance to the minimum and prevent erosion. Grass would be very difficul...
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Island Lake, IL
Is the Obedient Plant a bog plant?
I purchased 2 obedient plants at a farmer's market in Michigan. As I was unfamiliar with this plant, the merchant told me it did well in full sun. It was just what I needed. When I got home I look...
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