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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

Sunset Valley, TX
Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
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Austin , Texas, TX
Clipping of beans from newly planted Tecoma stans
I purchased a Esperanza Plant in a pot from a nursery in April of 2008. We planted it and it is doing fine, but came with blooms and beans. Do I need to do clip or prune the beans at this stage of g...
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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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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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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
Low maintenance, low growing native plants
Mr. Smarty Plants, Could you recommend several low growing easy to maintain plants for planting next to our house. The area for the plants is next to the house(white stone) in between the house and t...
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Austin, TX
Wildflowers for a wedding site
My fiance and I would like to get married on his family's ranch, just north of Johnson City on the Pedernales river, in April of 2009. Currently, we are clearing the over-grown meadows of cactus and ...
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Austin, TX
Drought-tolerant shrub for privacy screen
Is there some kind of drought resistant bush or thorny plant we can rim our property with to stop all the foot traffic through our yard? We don't care if it's pretty, just something thick and/or th...
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Austin, TX
Removal of mature agaves
Hello- we live in Austin, TX and have a bed of different varieties of agave. They are near the walkway to our house, and are so out of control they pose a hazard to our guests walking up to the house...
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Austin, TX
Protecting guavas from deer
I have large guavas that the deer love to tear up rubbing their new antlers. When do I need to re-cover the plants with anti-deer nets to be sure to get ahead of them? One night too late and they ar...
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Austin, TX
Lantanas with brown leaves
I have several lantana plants here in Austin, TX. They did extremely well all summer long up until our first freeze. It looks like they have all died. Are they just dormant or are they dead? Their lea...
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Austin, TX
What trees in Austin right now have yellow leaves that are falling?
Right now there are trees in Austin that have bright yellow leaves. Do you know what trees native to Austin turn a very bright yellow in November? It looks like now the leaves are starting to fall off...
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Austin, TX
Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is the...
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Austin, TX
Photograph of seedling or pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) seedling
Where can I find a photograph of a pigeon berry seedling?
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Austin, TX
Cutting back annual wildflowers after going to seed
I purchased some wildflower seeds from the center last year, planted them in Nov-Dec and they have done fairly well this year despite our fairly dry winter. My question is now that they are done bloom...
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Austin, TX
Identification of native grasses little bluestem and switchgrass
If you drive east of Austin on Hwy 71, there is a bluish looking grass that has become very noticeable since the heavy rains in July. The blades grow straight up and each plant is in clump form. Do ...
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Austin , TX
Wisteria and Non-Poisonous Native Vines
I'm from central Texas and I'm wanting to plant a native vine that will work well around the public, mainly kids. It's a mostly sunny trellis that makes an arch. I'd like to plant the native Wiste...
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Austin, TX
Culture of a potato vine
This spring I was given a potato to grow. The lady called it a potato vine. Do you know anything about this vine?
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Austin, TX
Berms to hold water around roots
I planted new flower beds this November. There are currently dirt 'berms' around each plant - creating a well for water to seep into the immediate plant area. How can I keep these berms from erodi...
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Austin, TX
Winter care for plants in Austin
Hello, I'm just getting into the gardening thing, and have planted tons of plants this fall here in Austin. I'm a bit worried about them with winter right around the corner. My first question is r...
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