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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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Monday - June 18, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: User Comments
Title: Butterflyweed
Answered by: Guy thompson

QUESTION:

Can't find a way to say thanks for prompt, helpful answer today from Guy Thompson on starting "Butterflyweed" -- or how to give ans. 5 stars -- so here's thanks &stars! More info than available at Barton Creek Nursery, Shoal Creek Nursery (which once had big plants in the ground) or online. I was at Wildflower Ctr Sat, in heaven seeing everything, & renewed long-lapsed membership. Many thanks to all,for all you do. Went to see HABITURF & get info to encourage City of Austin to plant it where they're about to put dumb, invasive Bermuda, but can't be done: 150 yr old elm's roots have been badly damaged by their construction project, and I can't let them tear down 8" and mulch top 3 to plant the seed, even if I could teach them the value (which I probably can't) of HABITURF. Initial cost is little compared to perpetual mowing. Such a shame! Hope you will put in demonstration plots more visibly at Wildflower Ctr as well as other places in town.

ANSWER:

Glad we were able to help with your Butterflyweed question.  I went through more or less the same struggle with this plant.  Only now, after about three years, are my Butterflyweed plants glowing with brilliant color from all the way across the yard.

Municipal authorities seem universally slow in adopting new ideas.  Maybe, with time.  On a positive note, you might check out the UT campus.  They are replacing many of the drab, institutional shrubs with native plants.  It is a big improvement.

Happy gardening!

 

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