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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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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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Friday - January 05, 2007

From: Pasadena, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Alternative to grass as groundcover in area used by dog
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am looking for a beautiful groundcover to use instead of grass which need to be soft and animal friendly. My dog is in the yard a lot and she's 10 yrs old. I am looking for a groundcover which will be soft for her, easy to maintain and beautiful to look at.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, there is probably no plant, native or otherwise that fits your criteria: non-grass groundcover, dog-friendly, dog-resistant, and attractive. None even come close. While Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass are not native grasses, they are probably the most dog-friendly, dog-resistant groundcovers you will find that are suitable for your area their problems notwithstanding.
 

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