Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Talking to Trees on Arbor Day

Hello Fellow Readers, Arbor Day occurs worldwide different times of the year based on the growing season. In the United States, its celebrated the last Friday in April, the origins of which dates to 1872 when J. Sterling Morton, President Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture, spearhea
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Legendary Pussy Willow

Hello fellow readers, Last week we spoke about witch hazel brightening the winter-scape with petite mops of color. Another first to show is the beloved pussy willow whose bud-like puffs of fuzz are in fact blooms. They are called catkins which seems fitting that pussy willows produce
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Witch Hazel’s Winter Reprieve

Hello fellow readers, Blooms beyond the white and grey of winter are emerging and one of the first to appear, with tiny mops of late winter blooms, is witch hazel. The same plant that makes the staple astringent on hand next to your bottle of rubbing alcohol and peroxide. However, the
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Not Necessarily Invasive

Hello fellow readers, Thank you for your kind wishes for a return to health. I am grateful to feel well again…. Please excuse the late posting of the column due to power and internet outages caused by the nor’easter that slammed the northeast on Friday. It’s been quite an
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Melancholy Valentine?

Hello fellow readers, I remember Valentine’s Day as a kid having to bring cards to school. Essentially it was an assignment. An obligation. One for each classmate. The cards came in assortment packs and, while the sayings weren’t romantic per se, mostly about friendliness which isn’t
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Canaan fir

Hello fellow readers, I visited with Anne of Lafayette NJ last week and was delighted to see that she still has her Christmas tree. “It’s so fresh, I don’t have the heart to toss it out.” She combed a branch with her hand and not one needle dropped. Anne modified the decorations since
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Prized Umbrella Pine

Hello fellow readers, One of my favorite evergreen conifer specimens is the Umbrella Pine. It sits to the right of the garage giving it protection from winds as advised by experts when Sciadopitys verticillata is planted in zone 5. Michael Dir, the guru of woody plants, lists its hard
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Arbor Day Foundation

Hello fellow readers, We are inundated with requests for donations that come in varying forms and disguises and while we wish to give back and help others, evaluating good causes can be confusing. I recently received an official-looking envelope labeled 2018 New Jersey Tree Survey and
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A Nutty Winter in Store?

Hello fellow readers, Nuts are abundant this fall which, in weather folklore, means a harsh winter is ahead. When walking around our Shagbark Hickory trees (Carya ovata) it feels as though I’m skating on marbles. The first time I was introduced to shagbark nuts was when a golf ball si
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Worrisome Needle Drop

Hello fellow readers, Andrea of Morristown NJ asked what’s going on with her white pines. Seeing evergreens drop needles often triggers concern. It’s kind of like an abundance of hairs in your shower drain. Evergreen foliage, despite their name, does not live forever. As new growth em