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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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Wednesday - October 20, 2004

From: Radnor, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers
Title: Low maintenance, native plants for sloping drive near Philadelphia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My cabin is located in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. I am looking for low maintenance plants that would look good on the sides of a driveway that slopes upward. This is a potential project for my boy scout troop.

ANSWER:

Since you are in Pennsylvania, the best solution for you probably is to talk with someone in your area about what specific plants would be appropriate for your project. You might begin by contacting someone in the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society. I found information and lists of native plants for Maryland for wildlife habitat and conservation. Those plants listed for the Piedmont plateau region of Maryland should be relevant for the location of your cabin. The plant lists break them down into groundcover, grasses, herbaceous, shrubs, etc. The lists give information about the requirements for soil moisture, sunlight, size, flower color, and bloom period. There are sample plants lists for different conditions such as wet sites, shade, dry sun, etc. Pictures and information for many of the plants listed can be seen on the Wildflower Center web page. You can also find a list of suppliers (nurseries or seed companies) by visiting our useful resource.

 

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