Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Friday - June 15, 2007

From: chicago, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists
Title: Hardy perennials for Chicago
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a duplex condo in Chicago. My basement or 1st floor is at sub-sidewalk level. This "patio" faces east and gets about 4 hours sun a day. It is about 8 feet high and covers an area 15x9. I'd like to plant some perennials that are hearty enough to survive a Chicago winter yet give me color or texture in summer and winter. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Experience has taught us that it is not possible to adequately design a garden or make specific plant recommendations sight unseen. The light, soil, water, and design considerations for each garden site are simply too complex. But we may still be able to help. The Native Plant Database features a search function designed to help with just your kind of project. In the "Combination Search" section of that webpage, select from the menu choices that are appropriate for your requirements. Once you have identified some species that would be good candidates for your project, read articles from the database appropriate to your project. The articles, "Landscaping With Native Plants" and "Wildflower Meadow Gardening" will probably be most useful to you.

 

More Plant Lists Questions

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for strip between sidewalk and street
June 21, 2015 - Dear Sir, My name is Brandon. I live in Leander TX (just North of Cedar Park). I have an area that is in the "street strip" (in between sidewalk and asphalt) of my home that I would like to d...
view the full question and answer

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
May 31, 2013 - I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.