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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 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 - April 23, 2008

From: EXETER, CA
Region: California
Topic: Best of Smarty, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Plants to keep children out of yard
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS

ANSWER:

There are plants that would serve that purpose. They would all take time to grow and be expensive to purchase. Have you considered just putting in a fence? The cost might be more initially, but when you factor in watering and other care for the plants, it would probably even out. Also, what about when you sell your house? No family with children is going to want to buy a house with a child-unfriendly hedge around the yard. You live in a beautiful agricultural area, and Exeter sounds like a charming small town. Somehow, we just can't bring ourselves to recommend our wonderful native plants as a barrier. Perhaps you should contact the University of Calfornia at Davis Tulare County Extension Office for more local advice on a solution to your problem.

 

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