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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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Tuesday - July 20, 2010

From: Greenfield, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Planting
Title: What to Plant Now feature?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Would y'all at all consider having a "What To Plant Now" section" and/or a "What's Blooming Now" one. You are very generous with your information, but if I wanted to "go native", it seems that the information I glean here gives several dozen options, with no clue how to cultivate these. When do I plant, and how long till bloom are really key. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your suggestions!

Our long-term goal is to provide all of the type of information you're asking for.  Since there are more than 20,000 native plant species in North America, you can understand that the challenge is daunting.  In the interim, we try to give our patrons the best tools we can to help them make decisions about gardening with native plants.

Having search results that yield dozens of choices is not necessarily a bad thing.  Yes, there are more options to research, but the richness of options will usually lead you to better results. 

We already feature a "What's Blooming Now?" section on the home page of the Image Gallery.  One set of images features plants from across North America that are currently flowering.  The other set of images focuses on those species that are currently flowering at our home at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX.  A customized "What's Blooming Now?" feature is a possibility and is one we'll investigate as we further develop and enhance the website.

 

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