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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
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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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
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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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
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
Ground cover for cleared property in Austin
I live in a small apartment building near 183 & 620. The land beyond the lawn has trees and has been cleared of brush. They are planning to seed the ground. I thought invasive native ground covers wo...
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Austin, TX
Need evergreen privacy screen for Austin, Texas
I need an evergreen privacy screen. I live in southern Travis County and have a 450 ft property line that has a view to about 10 -12 neighbors back yards. I need something that won't be nibbled by ...
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Austin, TX
Understory plants for creek side in Austin
We live along Shoal Creek in central Austin and would like to establish a natural balance of vegetation along the creek. We currently have a high tree canopy made up of native Cedar Elms. What would...
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Austin, TX
Native plants for a lizard terrarium
My brother is setting up a terrarium for his lizard and wants advice on some species to put in the tank. He wants plants that generally fit the below description. Can you think of anything fairly c...
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Austin, TX
Landscaping with native plants in Austin
I'm expanding a flower bed in front of my house and would like to keep it all natives. 1) How do I find out what type of soil I should add? (I live near Hyde Park, Austin and haven't had a soil te...
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Austin, TX
Update on Wildflower Center's Turffalo plot
Hi, I was wondering if you can provide an update about the Turffalo grass installed at the Wildflower Center? The last update was June 26, 2009. We are investigating options for a lawn in South Aus...
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Austin , TX
Excessive nitrogen inhibiting coreopsis blooms
I planted coreopsis in the summer last year and they bloomed profusely nonstop from June 2005 to April 2006. However, this past summer, continuing to present time, my coreopsis have not bloomed at a...
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Austin, TX
Preventing armadillos from digging up lawn for grubs
Over the past 4 months we have endured an armadillo digging up our lawn. We are now seeking a humane method to discourage the armadillo from digging up the grubs in our lawn. Do you have any suggest...
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Austin, TX
Native Indian Rice Grass cultivation as food source
Hi! I'm a student at UT and I ran across a grass while doing some reseach, native to Utah and Arizona, called Indian Ricegrass. It was used as a famine plant among native communities, however, it w...
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Austin, TX
Mechanism for Cenizo bush blooming before rain
Why does cenizo (aka barometer bush) bloom before it rains?
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Austin , TX
Privacy Tree for Austin, TX
Can you recommend a tall privacy plant similar to the Thuya Green Giant that is suitable to the Austin environment?
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Austin, TX
Propagation by seed of Texas Mountain Laurel
I just harvested a grocery bag full of Texas Mountain Laurel seed pods. I want to cast them out in a field and wooded area near NW Austin. Is it best to leave the seeds in the pods or remove the pod...
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Austin, TX
Plants for making dyes for organic cotton
Looking to dye my own organic cotton for my new line of organic clothing and I want to grow the plants for making the dyes in my own garden. Any suggestions?
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Austin, TX
Small, attractive tree to replace redbud
Hi. We have a dying redbud (approx 9 yrs old) in our west facing front yard. It gets lots of sun, and plenty of water from our irrigation system. We think the issue is a vertical split in the trunk, ...
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Austin, TX
School wildflower, native plant garden
I am helping my daughter's third grade class plant a very small (about 5 ft. square) wildflower/native plant bed that is in full sun. I'm interested in flowering plants that bloom in the very early...
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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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