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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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Saturday - December 06, 2008

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Propagation
Title: Gardening book for beginner gardener
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What is a good gardening book for a beginner gardener who lives in Round Rock. Would like info for both vegetables and plants for landscaping. Thanks.


Mr. Smarty Plants has the perfect book for you, Garden Guide for Austin and Vicinity, published by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association.  It tells you about local soils and has lists of recommended plants—including vegetables.  Best of all, it has monthly guides for what to plant and what to do in your garden each month.  it is available for sale at many local nurseries and it is usually available at the Wildflower Center Store, but you should call to check on its availability (1-877-945-3357).  Many, but not all, the plants recommended in the book are native.  We, of course, hope you will plant all native.  To help determine whether a plant is native or not, you can look it up in our Native Plant Database.  We also have lists of recommended species in our Hill Country Horticulture list and our Central Texas Recommended list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping.  Two other books that are excellent resources for gardening with native plants in your area are Native Texas Plants:  Landscaping Region by Region by Sally and Andy Wasowski and How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest by Jill Nokes.

Happy gardening!



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