Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

A New Year of Discoveries

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Catfish Pond Blairstown NJ

Hello fellow readers,

So long 2017. It has been a wonderful year of learning. In revisiting our topics, we sure spoke about a bunch of critters. About the birds in a two-part bird fodder series. And about the bees – the story about relocating fifty thousand honeybees that took up residence outside my college roommate’s front door.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, NJ Garden Coach and Speaker,Mary Elaine Stone, Garden of Life, Cardinal, Bird Fodder, Mike Niven, Eastern Bluebird, Blue Jay

Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, Photo by Mike Niven

We talked about stink bugs and lady bugs and why they pay unwelcome visits in our homes, sometimes in swarms. Lady bugs are good for the garden. Stink bugs are not. In fact, they are devastating to crops.

Along with the benefits of castings (worm poop) from our slimy garden guests, we learned earthworms are destroying forest floors which rely on leaf litter for food and to maintain moisture.

We learned about environmentally friendly ways to get rid of ants taking up residence in patios and walks and Eastern tent caterpillars chomping my brother’s roses. The quirkiest – folks suggest sprinkling instant grits that will expand in ants’ innards for good riddance. Which makes me think of the film My Cousin Vinny- “No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits.”

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Seal Pup comes ashore in NJ

Surprised fisherman visited by a Seal Pup in NJ

Indeed, we talked about many critters this past year that affect our garden of life, but also topics about nature. My most favorite highlight of the year was the seal pup surprise that came ashore along Island Beach State Park NJ. Some kindhearted passersby came too close to the friendly little guy. We learned to marvel over miracles, but keep our distance should we come across fawn or other babies in our gardens. Mother Nature know what she’s doing.

We learned about many plants too, such as the Sexy Natives shared by Bruce Crawford, Director of Rutgers Gardens, many of which are deer resistant and all G-rated for glorious and good for pollinators.  We learned from Claudia West, author and speaker, who describes how to layer plant communities akin to those seen in nature to create a beautiful and healthy ecosystem. Its music to my ears to hear an ecological expert that advocates to plant more understory plants rather than the wasteful cycle of mulching.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, NJ Garden Coach and Speaker,Mary Elaine Stone, Garden of Life, Claudia West, Plant More Plants, Native Plants, Native Plants, Mimic Natrures Landscape, Natures Inspiration, Wild Garden,Bruce Crawford, Helianthus angustifolius, Swamp Sunflower

Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
Photo by Bruce Crawford

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Thank you for reading Garden Dilemmas, for your questions and help with answers. And a special thanks to my local paper The Press for inviting our column 290 weeks ago (that’s five and a half years !) which lead to bringing us all together. Here’s to a New Year of discoveries! Garden Dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com

 

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Catfish Pond Blairstown NJ

Walking on Water on New Years Day, Catfish Pond, Blairstown, NJ

 

 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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