Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Front Lawn Alternative

Hello fellow readers, When I met Stephanie of Denville NJ four years ago, she wished to forgo a front lawn and plant a garden she could stroll through and enjoy viewing from the inside looking out. An ambitious undertaking for most, but I quickly learned Stephanie didn’t think so. I d
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Independence Day on the Top of the World

Hello fellow readers, Last Sunday we visited a favored hiking spot, Big Pocono State Park, which sits atop Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, PA. I’ve coined it the Top of the World where you can see eastern Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey and New York. More than that,
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Planning an Alpine Garden

Hello fellow readers, One of the joys of doing what I do as a Landscape Designer is working with special folks with special properties, many with garden dilemmas that I see as opportunities. Like James of Sparta NJ who lives on a mound of massive moss rocks. Literally, his foundation
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The Gifts of Nature

Hello fellow readers, At last, the internet and cell service are restored after a week without due to the Wizard of Oz-like storm coupled with my computer fixer-upper (dear Curt) away on business. There are benefits to being unplugged. It heightens the sounds in nature, the pleasure o
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Choosing Annuals

Hello Fellow Readers, (Excuse the late posting of this week’s column. I’ve been hobbling along without internet since last Tuesday’s Wizard of Oz storm. Humbling!) We have the green light for annuals based on the wisdom to wait until after the last frost date, typica
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Terrariums: a Mini-gardening Warmup

Hello Fellow Readers, Just before our gardens kicked into gear, I had the privilege of dropping in on a succulent event hosted by A&J Messina Greenhouses in Blairstown NJ which served as a mini-gardening warmup. What a lively group of over seventy guests learning how to make a ter
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Mulch Time

Hello Fellow Readers, Springtime is mulch time and John from Andover NJ asked what kind of mulch is best. First and foremost, remember to apply only two to three inches of mulch and stay clear of trunks and stems to prevent disease (a polite way of saying no volcano mulch). There’s a
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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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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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Jefferson’s Monticello – a lab for plants

Hello fellow readers, There’s an Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar which sits by my desk noting Friday, April 13th is Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday. The 275th anniversary of his birth as a matter of fact. Beyond being a founding father and the third president of the United States, Jefferson