Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Easter Wisdom from Mettler’s Woods

Hello fellow readers, On the second day of Spring, we braced for another round of blinding snow and high winds. Instead, a peaceful eight inches of fluff fell. Good thing as we were all weary. The snow melted quickly as temperatures warmed. Spring is here at last! But the cleanup of f
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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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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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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