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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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Thursday - March 17, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists
Title: Garden/landscape software for native Texas landscape
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What garden/landscape software program(s) would you recommend for a native Texas landscape design? I haven't found one that includes Texas plants in the standard plant encyclopedia. Any hints would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Our resident landscape expert says that most landscape architects use LandCadd; but it, like the many other landscaping software packages, has a limited plant list. This is especially so for native species unless they are common in the landscaping industry. Searching the internet I found Growit Gold Garden & Landscape Design Software which claims to have a large database that includes "tropical to cool weather range" plants and is likely to contain some native plants for your region. Also, they offer the option of adding your own native plants to the database.

You can find a PDF file to download of native plants recommended for your region on the Regional Fastpacks page of the Wildflower Center web page. The list arranges the plants by type--cacti and succulents, ferns, grasses, shrubs, etc. It gives the botanical and common names, the native range (by state), and information about its size, the blossom color, bloom period, moisture and sun requirements. Using the botanical or common names, you can search the Native Plants Database for pictures and more information about the plants. On the Regional Fastpacks page you can also find lists of Plant and Seed Sources and Plant Landscapers for your region.

 

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