En EspaŅol

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
2 ratings

Saturday - April 19, 2008

From: Billerica, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Cutting costs on purchase of plants in Boston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I spend OVER $600 per season on annuals for my gardens here in the Boston area each year. I wonder if there is any place you are aware that I can buy discounted plants? I grow the typical geraniums, mums, impatients, etc. If I save some money...I can plant more. I love flowers! Thanks. Denise

ANSWER:

Sorry, recommending discounted plants is a little out of our line. What we can do is make a couple of suggestions, answering questions you didn't ask, about how to have attractive landscaping for more months of the year, and without replanting everything, with the attendant expense, pots, fertilizer, etc. for annuals. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America, none of which are on your list of annuals. We do this because a native, growing where it is supposed to, will be less susceptible to disease, require less fertilizer and water, and be more resistant to insect pests. Further, we would like to suggest planting more perennials each year. We can also recommend some native plant suppliers in the Boston area. The upfront cost may be more, but if you do it gradually, converting from non-native annuals to native perennials, in a few years you will have a lower maintenance, lower cost garden that is good for the environment.

Just as a sample, the first thing we're going to do is go to our Recommended Species and select for Massachusetts, herbs (flowering plants), and perennials. When we did that, we got 41 possibilities, from which we have selected an even dozen that will give you flowers in several different colors from early Spring to mid-Fall. You can then repeat our process, either choosing other flowering plants (herbs) you like better, or selecting for shrubs, trees or grasses, and adding the soil moisture conditions and amount of sun. And, as promised, here is a list of native plant suppliers in the Boston area.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - blooms July to September, white, pink

Anemone canadensis (Canadian anemone) - blooms April to June, white

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine) - blooms February to July, red, pink, yellow

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - blooms May to September, orange, yellow

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower) -blooms June to September, blue, purple

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) -blooms April to June, yellow

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - blooms May to October, red

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - blooms July-October, blue

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) - blooms May and June, blue, purple

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm) - blooms July, August, red

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - blooms May to September, lavender, white

Rudbeckia laciniata (cutleaf coneflower) - blooms July to October, yellow


Achillea millefolium

Anemone canadensis

Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Campanula rotundifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Lupinus perennis

Monarda didyma

Monarda fistulosa

Rudbeckia laciniata

 

 

 

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Seeds of Pinus engelmanii for the Netherlands
January 30, 2010 - I am living in the Netherlands Europe, I hope that you can help me. A friend of mine has a beautiful Pinus Engelmannii and I am looking for seeds of this pine. Have you any idea where i can buy them? ...
view the full question and answer

Trying to find a plant called sheepshire
May 17, 2010 - Hey there Mr. Smarty Plants, just one question. As a child in east Tennessee, we picked plants called sheepshire that looked like small clover leafs and had small yellow blooms. One could chew these...
view the full question and answer

Finding Viguiera dentata seeds or plants.
November 09, 2009 - I'm trying to locate seeds or plants of Viguiera Dentata, but have been unsuccessful. With the poliferation of these beautiful flowers this fall, I don't understand why I can't locate them. Do you ...
view the full question and answer

Finding a native plant garden designer from Austin
April 10, 2011 - I was at the center today and told to contact you on the website for suggestions on who to call to hire a garden designer to come to my house,lay out a garden and select plants, etc.
view the full question and answer

Source for Dryopteris Filix-max Rhizomes in East Hanover NJ
June 15, 2009 - We are in search for 100kg Dryopteris Filix-mas (Male Fern) Rhizomes to extract oil Kindly send your offer
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