Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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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In Like a Lion

Hello fellow readers, As I write it’s the second day of March and a wild storm with high winds and heavy snow is underway. After a mild February with temps in the fifties, even some seventies, soil is saturated and soft. The risk of trees falling causing power outages are high. Talk a
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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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Beauty in Dreariness

Hello fellow readers, As I sit to write you I remain wobbly from a bout of flu. Just as I feel I’m improving, there’s a setback. The fever returns or coughing fits making it tough to breath. It’s been humbling, yet minor compared to others dealing with a serious illness or devastating
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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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Dreaded Spotted Lanternfly

Hello fellow readers, Just recently there’s been two sightings of the dreaded Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) in New Jersey, a topic of great concern at the NJ Plants Trade Show held in Edison NJ on January 31st. “It’s a very bad bug,” stressed Paul Kurtz, Entomologist of the NJ State Depart
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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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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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Clearing Space

Hello fellow readers, A new year often brings resolutions like exercising, getting organized, or quitting habits like smoking or stacking up garden magazines (busted!). I spent an afternoon in the basement tending to a long overdue task of clearing things out. Basements are limbo plac