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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - February 04, 2008

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: User Comments, Wildflower Center
Title: Maintenance policy for Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
Answered by: Philip Hawkins

QUESTION:

Greetings, I am a volunteer at the University of Washington’s Elisabeth C. Miller Horticultural library. I am currently developing a maintenance policy for our database of gardening questions and answers. Because of the similarities between our databases, I am hoping that someone can answer a few questions about the maintenance of your database. 1. Do you currently have a written maintenance policy? 2. Do you have a criteria for determining which questions to add to the database? 3. Do you ever delete past questions from your database, and if so, why? 4. How do you handle past questions with broken links/information that is no longer on the web? I greatly appreciate any feedback you can give us. Sincerely, Dawn Hubbard

ANSWER:

First let me begin by praising the University of Washington’s Elisabeth C. Miller Horticultural Library's volunteers and staff for developing your own database, Mr. Smarty Plants is always excited to hear about new online resources for gardeners.

Since the founding of the Wildflower Center in 1982, gardeners and horticulturalists have written, faxed and phoned with questions, and our volunteers/staff have answered them individually. This primarily consisted of mailing out fact-sheets and, in large part, lead to one-on-one interactions. Starting in 2003, the center began posting these questions on the web - allowing users from all over the country to learn from each other's questions. Over time, Mr. Smarty Plants has continued to receive questions and the Wildflower Center has become more dependent on our wonderful volunteers who answer them.

The simple answer to your question is: we do not have a written maintenance policy for Mr. Smarty Plants, instead we rely on the best judgement of our volunteers. In general, it is our policy to answer every question asked. If the question is not clear or does not focus on native plants, we try to point the user in the right direction. Rarely are questions deleted and only if they contain false information or if a recent answer it significantly better. Finally, broken links are generally found through good luck; our volunteers and users are on the lookout and usually let us know if they find any.

Hope this helps and good luck!

 

More User Comments Questions

Another plant with ice plant as the common name from Corpus Christi
June 17, 2010 - This is not a question, but your "ice plant" answer to El Cajon did not consider Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, which I believe is the common roadside succulent that ate California. God have mercy ...
view the full question and answer

Thank you Mr. Smarty Plants
January 28, 2009 - Hi, this is a note of thanks, powerful thanks, for your answer to my question about carolina laurel. Our disappointment was more than made up for by your recommendation to check out OSU's wonderful ...
view the full question and answer

Agarita suggestion for Houston area
March 05, 2013 - Another possible plant for the following question is agarita. The question: "Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Ro...
view the full question and answer

Articles on landscaping with native plants in Kansas
August 18, 2004 - I work for the Kansas Department of Transportation in Topeka, Kansas and would like to receive information on growing native wildflowers. I have a catalog titled "Wildflower Favorites" that was pub...
view the full question and answer

User's comment on nativity of Beggar's Lice from Austin
May 20, 2014 - I think you were off the mark telling somebody that "beggar's lice" is a Texas native. According to Wikipedia, Torilis arvensis is an invasive species native to Eurasia. Cheers!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center