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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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Thursday - April 18, 2013

From: Burleson, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Problem Plants, Shrubs
Title: Bulletproof plants from Burleson TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently wrote you a question concerning planting a privacy plant consisting of wax leaf ligustrum on my country property. Your answer was immediate (thank you-I am impressed). I like the wax leaf so much that I was shocked to learn that it was invasive.I really like the idea of bees that swarm the wax leaf that I presently have in town, but would like to honor your opinion about not planting. I do not care for the ones that you suggested.What bothers me more than the dogs and children is the guns going off constantly within 1/4 mile of my house. I have a bullet hole in my patio window and had hoped that perhaps the wax leaf would deflect noise and possible bullets straying my way. Would euonymous be a possibility for what I need. I would like a thickness and a height of at least 6 feet. Thank you for your advice and help.

ANSWER:

Here is your previous question about a noise reduction screen for a home in the country. The Mr. Smarty Plants Team member who answered your question began it with these words:

"Unfortunately, there are no plant screens of any kind that will silence screaming children and barking dogs."

So, now you are saying that guns going off within 1/4 miles of your house are bothering you more than the children and dogs. We have to tell you, we have had requests for deer-proof plants, rabbit-proof plants, dog-proof plants, even snake-proof plants, but we have never EVER been asked for a bulletproof plant.

Euonymous is also non-native, coming from East Asia. You said you didn't care for the native suggestions offered to you, and we don't recommend non-natives, so we are at something of an impasse. We are gardeners, not lawyers, but from a common sense point of view, we would suggest you discuss your problems with the gunfire with the Sherif's Office of either Tarrant or Johnson Counties, whichever your property is in. Beyond that, Mr. Common Sense (Mr. Smarty Plants' alter ego) has another suggestion:   MOVE.


 

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