Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Spring Cleanup & Pruning Lavender

Hello Fellow Readers, At last the big cleanup. Curt and I spent eight hours cleaning up branches, sticks, and wheelbarrows of hickory nut hulls. The critters ate the nuts and left the husks. Talk about poor table manners…. Then there were the bucket loads of cones, a sign our hemlocks
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Ode to Fall

Hello fellow readers, While the official start of fall has begun, the return of heat and humidity after the late summer cool spell has Mother Nature confused. I heard spring peepers the other evening while sitting on the screened porch. And, there’s early leaf drop on certain trees be
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No need for bad haircuts

Hello Fellow Readers, Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom announcing spring has arrived! I love the sunny yellow welcome to the bland dormant landscape. It’s true after the early yellow wakeup call they can turn into unwieldy shrubs inspiring folks to prune them into unnatur

Bad Bamboo?

Hello fellow readers, Recently Katie of Piscataway NJ shared her ‘horrible backyard dilemma.’ Her home was once her Dad’s which peaked my curiosity. How could her Dad’s backyard be so horrible? It turns out the neighbor’s bamboo has taken over. At first glance bamboo seems appealing.
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Desperate Measures

Hello fellow readers, I’ve always thought the reasons to prune are similar to the reasons of caring for ourselves and our families. Improving appearance and health, training the young, controlling size, preventing injury or damage, rejuvenating the old, and influencing bounty. Darren

Long & Leggy

Hello fellow readers, They’re long and leggy which is evident from the photo of the garden dilemma shared by Melanie of Newton. She and her husband acquired a lake-side fixer-upper built over a half-century ago. The rhododendrons have grown taller than the house and branches are resti
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Mixed-up Cherry

Hello fellow readers, Marcia from Columbia writes ‘our pink ornamental cherry tree is trans gendering, or crossdressing, or something. There are two large boughs with pure white blossoms. What the heck?’ In the picture she sent the tree looks like it has a spikey haircut with lots of
Deer Damage on Evergreens, Mary Stone of Garden Dilemmas

To Prune or Not to Prune

Hello fellow readers, To prune or not to prune, that is the question from Mary of Blairstown (that would be me) and oodles of others who are perplexed and annoyed by the devastating damage from the harsh winter. Plants that normally would be well on their way to showing signs of promi