Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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
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Fungi Impacted Leaves in the Garden

Hello fellow readers, This growing season provided a perfect environment for foliar disease. Earlier in the summer Hector from Morristown, NJ sent a photo of his Mom’s maple tree dotted with black spots. “All the leaves seem to have the cooties.” I sent the photo off to my favorite as
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Lackluster Fall Color

Hello fellow readers, The ideal conditions for stunning fall color are a moist growing season (check – we had that) followed by a dry fall (yup – we’ve had that too) with sunny, warm days and cool nights (nope – didn’t happen). After a wet summer, most predicted we’d
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Why Critters Cross the Road

Hello fellow readers, This time of year, on morning walks with Miss Ellie, I come across woollybear caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella) and can’t help but help them along. Just as I pick them up, they curl into balls of fur. After ten or so saves, I consider just letting them be, but
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Is Goldenrod Invasive ?

Hello fellow readers, A few weeks ago, we chatted about fall flowering perennials. An old friend, naturalist, and bird photographer, Mike Niven of Coatesville PA, wrote in that his Joe-pye weed, one of the fall beauties, grew especially tall this year likely due to plentiful rains. He
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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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Fall Flowering Perennials

Hello fellow readers, As we approach the homestretch of the gardening season many gardens grow tired. Mine especially so as the poor things suffer from neglect. Busy tending to other folks’ gardens is my not so perfect excuse. Thankfully there are late season bloomers I rely on to lif
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A Steep Woodland Garden

Hello fellow readers, I’ve had the privilege the last few years to work with Stephanie of Denville, NJ who moved from the west coast. She bought a cute cottage in a lake community with views overlooking a magnificent forest that’s reminiscent of scenery on the Appalachian trail. The d
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Sweet Autumn Clematis

Hello fellow readers, One of my favorite vines is the Sweet Autumn Clematis in her glory this time of year with a plethora of tiny white blooms from August through September that looks like a snowdrift and smells heavenly. Once the blooms are spent, a silvery blanket of seed heads fol
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Cicadas sing ‘Back to School’

Hello fellow readers, The sound of the late summer cicadas brings back the memory of the nagging indication it’s time to return to school. The trepidation was more about the nervousness of being in a new class. Once the newness wore of, it wasn’t that bad. There’s much to