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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - April 07, 2014

From: Moss Point, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Living blooming plants for November wedding in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am an environmental educator whose daughter is getting married in Austin in November. I would like to use living blooming native plants as decorations and then donate them to a local school to plant in their outdoor learning lab/garden. Can you recommend any plants that would be good for this?

ANSWER:

You are not the first gardener to ask us this sort of question. When we searched our Mr. Smarty Plants section, we got a total of 57 previous questions on the same subject.

Indulge us by reading some previous answers on live blooming native plants for weddings:

From Austin. This has a number of links on the same subject if you have the patience or desire to read them.

Then, lo and behold, we found a question on native plants in pots in Austin. We were going to suggest something in containers, because of your express (and wonderful) desire to donate those plants to a school garden. Please read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants

Since, as the writer of that previous question pointed out, many plants that bloom in November are at the limit of their blooming season, you might consider some small shrubs, preferably evergreen, that would add to the feeling of Nature at the wedding but also be relatively easy to transplant into those school gardens, as well as longer lived. In addition to 6 shrubs, we selected 3 succulents, all native to Central Texas. These will all mature to taller plants than you probably need for a wedding, but by then they will be gracing some lucky school gardens, and truly be making an environmental statement about Austin TX. Follow the plant links for each plant to our Native Plant Database to learn its growing conditions, soil needs, bloom time, etc.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are to be grown; in this case, Travis County, TX.

Native Shrubs for Container Plants for Austin TX:

Chrysactinia mexicana (Damianita)

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry)

Salvia greggii (Autumn sage)

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca)

Manfreda variegata (Mottled tuberose)

Yucca pallida (Pale-leaf yucca)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

Agarita
Mahonia trifoliolata

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Texas barberry
Mahonia swaseyi

Autumn sage
Salvia greggii

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Mottled tuberose
Manfreda variegata

Pale-leaf yucca
Yucca pallida

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