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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

West Lake Hills, TX
Live oaks dying in Austin, TX?
I had my live oak trees trimmed in October(it had been over 5 years) by a reputable Austin company. The tree canopies were not very thick to begin with, but throughout the winter, some trees have los...
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West Lake Hills, TX
Native substitute for traditional Christmas tree
Could you give some recommendations for a substitute of the traditional Christmas tree used during the holiday season? The low light/humidity conditions in the home is a challenge under any circumsta...
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West Lake Hills, TX
How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
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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
Oxalis drummondii as ground cover
We live in Austin, Texas. A sunny, dry swath of grass (originally St. Augustine) has been invaded by pink wood-sorrel (a large-leafed, mounding kind). I love the wood-sorrel, and would like to use it ...
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Austin, TX
Slow flowering wisteria
We have a young wisteria growing on the side of the house. It began to flower this year for the first time. Whereas my neighbors' wisterias all bloomed in February, ours has only begun to bloom in mi...
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Austin, TX
Thinning of non-native rosemary
I live in NW Austin and have a very large rosemary bush that is having problems this season. We trimmed the bush in early March because the plant was getting too large for the space. It is roughly 3...
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Austin, TX
Red bluebonnets in the garden
I bought 6 blue bonnet plants at Lowe's last fall. They survived the winter in my garden fine and they are now blooming (3/11)but they are red! Did I buy a wrong variety or is there something about...
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Austin, TX
Rain garden plants for Austin
I have a 7'x1' shaded area in between my house and sidewalk where the downspout is, and would like to add plants for a more eco-friendly drainage solution. Which plants would be best? I know that th...
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Austin, TX
What to do about cold damage to spineless prickly pear?
In Austin, Texas our 'spineless' prickly pear cactus is about 6' wide by 4' tall. In the last severe freeze, the top half flattened out and has remained that way. Should I cut the flattened pads o...
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Austin, TX
Rain garden for South Austin
I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
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Austin, TX
Central Texas native plants good for cut flowers in Austin
What are the best native plants to Central Texas that can be used as cut flowers for indoors in the home? I have a large garden that will be partly vegetables, partly for cut flowers. Thank you for ...
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Austin, TX
Need help with a misshapen Monterey Oak in Austin, TX
In the Fall of 2008, I purchased a very tall Monterey Oak from TreeFolks at the Burger Center Sale. Since the wind was so high, all the tall trees were on the ground, and I guess that is why I did no...
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Austin, TX
Using corn gluten to suppress weeds in buffalo grass, blue grama and curly mesquite
I own a home in central Austin and am replacing my St. Augustine lawn with a native grass blend of Buffalo, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite as a pre-emptive attack for the inevitable drought conditions...
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Austin, TX
Soils for Acacia greggii and Bauhinia lunarioides
What kind of soil do you recommend for anacacia tree? I was stunned by the one blooming at Center. I have had one for years and it has not been happy. I figure it must be the soil.
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Austin, TX
Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root s...
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Austin, TX
Native flowers for color year round
I have the opportunity to recommend plants for a religious organization. They want YEAR ROUND color in some areas, much like how commercial sites use annual color. I would like to suggest native/ada...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these condi...
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Austin, TX
Trees blooming white in Austin area
3/16/10 What are the trees that are blooming white in the Austin area. They are a full tree and very prolific in the area.
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Austin, TX
Flowering problems with Mexican Plum and Mimosa in Austin, TX
Greetings, My Prunus mexicana (Mexican Plum) did not produce flowers before its leaves. Can you tell me why? I was hoping to have some fruit this year. Also, as of this morning March 13. My...
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Austin, TX
When to prune Texas betony (Stachys coccinea)
I bought Texas Betony plants several years ago at Wildflower Days. They are thriving, but a bit leggy. Somewhere I read that they should be cut back several times during the year. Now I can't find...
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