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

Hello fellow readers, What a roller coaster this spring has been. It came on like a lamb with highs up to 70 degrees stimulating early growth. Then, in comes the lion of overnight temps well below freezing. Many of the early blooming trees like magnolias ‘froze their faces’ I can hear
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Volleyball Mushrooms

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week I mentioned that my neighbor Bill ate his volleyball – a Giant Puffball Mushroom that is, Calvatia gigantean. I have a volleyball too that I’ve been monitoring in amazement, but it didn’t occur to me to eat it! I’ve always admired folks that know
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Saving Herbs

Hello fellow readers, It’s fun to grow herbs and enjoy them all summer long. But I’ll admit, I still dive into my stash of dry herbs even though there’s fresh ones out in the garden. Lazy Mary? Maybe. But a big part if it is, I’m used to cooking with dry herbs. Bill from Stone Church
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Queen Anne’s Anomaly

Hello fellow readers, While on a road walk with Miss Ellie I came across a pinkish Queen Anne’s Lace flower with dark magenta edges on a plant where all the other flowers were the customary cream. What a gorgeous anomaly! It reminded me of grade school when we’d cut Queen Anne’s Lace
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Hello Sweet Pea

Hello Fellow readers, I met with Melanie of Newton who asked if the perennial sweet peas covering her pool fence are edible. They sure look so; dead ringers to peas in your veggie garden. Some say you can as long as you don’t eat too many of them. Turns out it’s the flowers not the se
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Produce Abuse

Hello fellow readers, Can you believe we’ve been chatting for 165 weeks? I am so grateful for all we have learned from each other.  I hope you don’t mind that I revisited one of our early columns from 2012. Let’s just say, I’m concerned about produce abuse and thought we could help by
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An Apple a Day

Hello fellow readers, Rebecca of Andover received a dormant, bare-root apple tree via mail order and wondered the best way to take care of it until it can be planted. What a wonderful gift! They are doing a backyard renovation and plan to include apple trees in the mix. Apple trees so

Straw Bales Baby: Kearny Community Garden

Hello fellow readers, I knew little about straw bale gardening until I met Peg and Ed who are entrenched volunteers of the Kearny Community Garden. Peg, a retired 6th grade teacher of 52 years I believe she said, is still teaching; but now her students are gardeners from age 8 to 93.

Rhubarb Edible vs. Ornamental

Hello fellow readers, One of the plants my colleague Marty and I touted in our recent talk at the Springfest Garden Show on Deer Resistant Plants was ornamental rhubarb. Artie stumped us when he asked for the botanical name. Rheum, pronounced ree’um, is the genus of rhubarb but
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Springfest Lecture : Deer Resistant Plants

Hello fellow readers, There was standing room only for our talk on Deer Resistant Plants You May Not Know About at the Springfest Garden Show. Thanks to all of you for being there. It was a joy meet you! We started our presentation with a rant of antics we do to keep deer at bay. Like