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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 - April 12, 2011

From: Charlotte, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: Native plants for restoring a North Carolina pond site
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I reconstructed the dam to a 50 year old cattle pond at our high-end residential development in Charlotte, NC. There are many large mature trees around the pond but also some good sun exposure at two sides of the pond. We've limbed up the trees around the pond, installed picnic tables, and now would like to plant colorful, drought-resistant plants around the pond as we do not have irrigation in the area. We named the area WILD FLOWER POND PARK so we would like to plant not only shrubs but some kind of wildflowers that come up every year without a lot of effort.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center maintains a number of Internet web sites that will be helpful to you.  Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you start by examining a list of plants recommended for your state.  Reading the descriptions of some of these will give you ideas for complementing the plants that you already have on site.  You would be  wise to start with a mixed selection of wildflower seeds suitable for North Carolina, such as available at American Meadows nursery.  Clicking on the Description of the various seed mixtures will show you the individual species included.  Most of these can be researched in detail by entering the common name or botanical name on the LBJ Wildflower Center Native Plant Database.  Depending upon the exact nature of your site, some of the plants will thrive and others may not.  But you will learn which species to seed in larger amounts. 

Good luck in your project to restore the native plants of your area!

 

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