En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 15, 2007

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildlife management tax exemption
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live on 10 acres of prairie land near Austin. I want to learn about drying and pressing and gluing and preserving wildflowers as art in pictures and bookmarks and cards. My attempts have failed and faded to bland colors even with a uv spray. Also, is there any grants available to land owners covered in native plants that would benefit us in hopes of paying our property taxes and not losing our 10 acres? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't have any personal experience pressing and drying flowers but can point you to some articles with advice on how to do this and how to minimize fading of the flowers. University of Missouri Extension Service has an article called Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements. Also, Pressed Flowers by Preserved Gardens has a wealth of information and links to many other pressed flower web sites.

Unfortunalely, I don't know of any programs that offer grants, or even tax breaks, just for growing wildflowers. However, growing wildflowers for food for wildlife should qualify as one of the activities required to obtain wildlife management tax exemption for your property. In the Tax Code (Section 23.51 (7)), you can pick "(E) providing supplemental supplies of food" as one of the three ways, of the seven listed, to qualify for Property Tax Exemption for Wildlife Management. The hitch in this, though, is that "the property must have been qualified and appraised as agricultural land during the year before the year the owner changes to Wildlife Management Use." If you do qualify for applying for wildlife management exemption, you can contact the wildlife biologists in Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Hill Country Wildlife District, which includes Hays County, for possible assistance in preparing your wildlife management plan.

To help you select the best wildflowers and plants you can visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Deparment's Texas Plant Information Database page where you can search for plants for your county by various attributes (such as "wildlife/livestock food" or "small mammal cover") and their usefulness for "small mammals", "nongame birds", etc.

There are two articles, "Creating a Wildlife Garden" and "Wildlife Gardening Bibliography" in our Native Plant Library that you may find useful.

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Shrubs and small trees for a slope in NY
May 21, 2012 - We are looking for a living wall made of shrubs / small trees - no more than 25' for the top of a steep creek bed. We are looking for the best erosion preventing types.
view the full question and answer

wildflowers for bees and hummers in central Texas
June 16, 2011 - I'm building a native habitat for different hummingbirds and bees at the Inks Lake Fish Hatchery, and I was wondering what kind of native plants in Texas attract these creatures but are also low main...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed hedgerow for privacy and for the birds
May 07, 2010 - What are the best native plants for a mixed hedgerow in a small backyard? I want privacy (heights 5'-10') and bird friendly. Thank you for your information.
view the full question and answer

Hybrid of Campsis radicans to attract hummingbirds
February 06, 2008 - Hello :) I am not new to gardening...just new with new varieties of plants/flowers. I tried to do my "homework" first before contacting you...so I do appreciate your time. Anyhoo, I'm developin...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife benefit of western coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis)
October 16, 2007 - A neighbor and I are planting a nearby waste area. I'd like to plant things that will help any wildlife that's managed to survive, probably birds. I may be able to get Western Coneflower (Rudbeckia ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center