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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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Center, TX
Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.
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Austin, TX
Cenizo as a Foundation Plant in Austin
We live next to the wildflower center. We would like to plant "Leucophyllum frutescens". We are hoping to use this as a foundation plant. Will it survive if planted in Dec. Please offer any tips ...
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Austin, TX
Effects of drought and insects on junipers
We live on acreage about 18 miles southwest of Austin. Ever since we moved here about 6 years ago, we've noticed that our mature Ashe junipers seem to be in some sort of decline with foliage graduall...
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Austin, TX
More than you want to know about planting a pond in Austin Texas
Winterizing Water Garden QA from Nov 27 Austin American-Statesman: Would the garden (60-gal aluminum) with those plants (papyrus, horsetail, water lily) be placed in the sun, shade, part shade or ? I ...
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Austin, TX
Replacement for non-native Sago palms in Austin
We have two pillars, one on each side of our front door. There is a sago palm in front of each pillar. It is a dramatic and beautiful look, but the palms, facing north and in shade, are growing so tha...
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Austin, TX
Bumelia sending up shoots in Austin
I have a bumelia that is sending up shooters everywhere in my yard. Everywhere!! I started to dig them up, but many come from deep roots and my digging seems to have encouraged the tree to send up m...
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Austin, TX
Gardening books for Austin and Central Texas
Hi, I'm looking for a book for my wife. She is a beginning gardener here in Austin. Do you know of an ideal book or two that covers vegetable gardening and gardening in general in Austin/Central Tex...
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Austin, TX
Neat and tidy, poolside in Austin Texas.
I have a small section between our pool and fence (approx 3 feet wide). I would like to plant something native that obscures the fence but does not create a mess for the pool. The area gets sun most...
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Austin, TX
Native plants to attract bees for vegetable garden
I'm looking for native plants that can help attract bees around my vegetable garden to help with pollination. What recommendations do you have?
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Austin, TX
Tough grasses for shade
What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
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Austin, TX
Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
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Austin, TX
Yellowing leaves on young bur oak
I saw your response on 7/25 about leaves on mature live oaks turning yellow, then brown because of excessive rain. The same thing is happening to our young burr oak. Leaves are turning yellowish, th...
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Austin, TX
Asian Jasmine in Austin
I just sent you a question about eliminating jasmine and forgot to mention it is Asian jasmine.
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Austin , TX
Invasive non-native Bermuda grass in lawns
Hello Mr. Smarty Pants. My yard here in southwest Austin is the only lawn with Bermuda Tif 419 grass. I am surrounded by neighbors with St. Augustine. I upgraded to this hybrid Bermuda for a number of...
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Austin, TX
Tolerance to foot traffic for native turf grass
I have read your articles on your mix of three native seeds for turf grass and on other native grasses but am left with a couple of lingering questions. We have about a 600 sq. ft area we want to plan...
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Austin, TX
Larvae infesting Mexican white oak
What larvae/worm would dwell and eat the inside of a Mexican White Oak? I planted one last November and it was doing great. The bark started cracking towards the bottom but the top was very full & gre...
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Austin, TX
Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
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Austin , TX
Alternatives to tuliptree and red maple in Central Texas
I live in southwest Austin, TX, nearby a creek. The soil is very heavy with clay. I've been perusing web sites for trees, and we like the "Summer Red Maple" and "Tulip Poplar" trees very much, m...
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Austin , TX
Native alterrnatives for Bermuda grass in shade
I have Bermuda Tif 419 on my lawn. As expected, there are small areas in the shade that the Bermuda is not doing well in. What would happen if I spread Zoysia seed in those shady areas? Would it gro...
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Austin, TX
How close can I plant Mountain Laurels to my house in Austin, TX?
Hello, I'm interested in planting 2 or 3 Texas Mountain Laurels on the side of my house and I'm wondering just how close is safe. I've been told that planting trees too close can damage the slab f...
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Austin, TX
Oak diseases as a result of wet, cool weather
The mature live oak trees in our back yard have been dropping leaves just like they do in March, but this is July! Small to medium spots on the leaves turn brown before they drop. The veins of the l...
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