Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
the foliage of an avocado tree loaded with flower buds

A Magical Avocado Tree

Hello fellow readers, My “big kid” project is dragging on, but I haven’t given up hope. You may recall the column inspired by Cheryl of Blairstown, who I met while walking Jolee. She started avocado seeds in water as a science experiment to encourage her daycare cent
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an elongated center of a mauve coneflower with fasciation

Fascinating Anomaly of Fasciation

Hello fellow readers. I enjoy being stumped by mysterious and sometimes magnificent garden dilemmas. Dorrie of Lebanon, CT, found my previous column about Deformed Flowers on Black-eyed Susan. The culprit— insects and a pathogen named Aster Yellows Disease (link below). But I had neve
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closeup of a black and white dog with a nametag Jolee

Three Sisters Gardening & Jolee’s Emergency

Hello fellow readers, I intended this week’s topic to be about Three Sisters Gardening—companion plants in your vegetable gardens stemming from Native Americans. They combined corn, pole beans, and squash, creating an ecosystem for sustainable gardening. Rather than planting in
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a mysterious unaddressed Christmas Card opened up on a wooden table with a red cardinal decoration

Mysterious Christmas Card

Hello fellow readers, May I share a story of the mysterious Christmas card that landed in our mailbox with messages addressed to all. The unaddressed envelope has a lovely illustration of a male and female cardinal. Red cardinals, the males, are often featured in Christmas decorations
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Black and white photo of a smiling golden retriever in front of a boulder

Unexpected Furry Messenger

Hello Fellow Readers, As you know, Miss Ellie Mae is the mascot for our column since we began our weekly chats over eight years ago. With a heavy heart, I share the news that we helped her go home on Tuesday. She arrived unexpectedly eleven years ago during a tough time of transition.
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Coffee Grounds in the Garden, Smiling Cup of Joe

Smiling Cup of Joe

Hello Fellow Readers, I had a good laugh when I heard from my youngest brother, who lives in Tennessee. Rick texted a photo of his cup of joe with a frothy smiley face smack dab in the middle. “Look at my message this morning in my coffee.” His suspicious sister writes back, “Come on.
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, woolybears, woolybears crossing the road, worms crossing the road when wet, Hickory Tussock caterpillars

Why Critters Cross the Road

Hello fellow readers, This time of year, on morning walks with Miss Ellie, I come across woolly bear 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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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Garden Toad, Garden Guests

Healing in the Garden of Life

Hello fellow readers, While the official start of fall has begun, the heat and humidity return after the late summer cooling 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 tr
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Seal Pup comes ashore in NJ

Seal Pup Surprise

Hello Fellow Readers, Interactions with wildlife can bring a tear to my eye… the wonder of it all. On April 23rd, while walking along Island Beach State Park NJ with canine kid Ellie, we spied a fisherman with what looked a dog. I should preface that Ellie is a rescue who still suffer
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Note-to-Self: Look Up!

Nature’s inspirations are sometimes seen looking up! I took this photo on December 18, 2015 from the side of the road; Cobblewood  Road, Blairstown to be specific. As a result of stumbling upon this puffy treat I made a note-to-self : Never overlook looking up!
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