En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
10 ratings

Tuesday - July 21, 2009

From: Grand Haven, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for retention ponds in Grand Haven, MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am president of a condo association. We have three retention ponds on the property. From two of them we pump water for irrigation so the water level goes up and down. We are going to try to stabilize the shore to stop the erosion, but I am trying to find out about plants that can live with wet and dry feet. Non-invasive, and preferably something that will grow tall enough to break up the sightline from the water to the shore, to help keep the geese off the lawn. I know that is is a separate issue.

ANSWER:

Luckily for us, there has already been an excellent answer to virtually the same question, the previous one coming from White Lake, MI in the southwest part of Michigan, Oakland County. We feel that is close enough to Grand Haven, on the southeast side of Michigan, Ottawa County, that the same information should apply, including the plant selections. Previous answer to White Lake.

In terms of keeping the geese off of the lawn, we have had questions about geese destroying gardens before, as well. We are not sure if any of the plants suggested in the previous answer were grasses tall enough to serve as something of a barrier to the geese, so we are going to find some native grasses that can tolerate wet or dry soils and list them for you.

Grasses Native to Michigan

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint) - 3to 5 ft. tall, sun, part shade or shade

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge) - 2 to 3 ft. tall, wet soil to standing water, sun

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge) - wet or moist soil,sun

Juncus torreyi (Torrey's rush) - wet or moist soil, sun

Phragmites australis (common reed) - 3 to 6 ft., wet or moist soil, sun

Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, wet soil, sun

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush) - wet soil, sun

Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) - 3 to 6 ft., wet soil, sun


Calamagrostis canadensis

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Juncus torreyi

Phragmites australis

Scirpus atrovirens

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

Spartina pectinata

 

 

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Water Gardening
February 28, 2005 - I took the landscaping class several years ago, and now would like to put in a section of aquatic plants. Starting small, I was initially looking for a ceramic bowl-type container, and I need to know...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a bioswale in Irving, TX
March 30, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, what plants would you recommend for a bioswale in the north Texas (Dallas) area?
view the full question and answer

Tropical-looking landscape in Austin, TX
March 24, 2005 - I'd like to have a tropical-looking landscape in my front yard. What plants would you recommend for Austin, Texas? I would prefer plants that can stay outside year-round, but will take suggestions on...
view the full question and answer

Plants for water park
January 03, 2013 - Hi, I usually have no problem locating the right species for a given situation, but I may need some advice for this. I am looking for plants -- from annual & perennial flowers to shrubs and small t...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with water garden from Pendleton SC
August 15, 2012 - Searching for native plants in SC. Your results miss some plants listed on your site. I noticed this reading the Mr. Smarty Plants response to "Edible Plants for North GA" We aren't far apart. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center