Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a couple photographing a double rainbow amongst trees in brilliant fall colors

Cycles in Our Garden of Life

Hello fellow readers, Planning, planting, and the seasons of gardens relate to the cycles in our garden of life. In the early season of life, we don’t have choices. Like seeds, we live with what we were handed and where we landed. We are born into a family, a culture, and a coun
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white pine pine cones on the side of the road next to feet in black sneakers with pine needles

The Secret Life of Pinecones

Hello fellow readers, We ventured to Blue Mountain Lake, part of the Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area, on Sunday, having not visited since last May when I shared the Flora & Reflections. In winter, evergreens take center stage, and it was fun to see all the young white pines a
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a huge flock of white snow geese flying into a farm field

Snow Geese Teach Acceptance

Hello fellow readers, Snow geese and Canadian geese are glorious to many but pests to some bringing a lesson of acceptance I hope you’ll enjoy. As I drove to the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice for my weekly volunteer sing, an enormous flock of snow geese was feeding on the f
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a pileated woodpecker on a tree trunk

Woodpeckers & Healing Sounds of Nature

Hello fellow readers, Colorful birds against the leafless trees indeed pop. And the healing sounds of nature improve health and well-being, even in the winter. We celebrated ringing in the New Year with dear friends who are both musical. Jim Ratcliff teaches piano, and Ruth is a voice
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A yellow golden retriever with snow on her nose walking along a frozen brook

Wisdom in the Rhythm of Water

Hello fellow readers, There is wisdom in the rhythm of the water. Water is everywhere, including as vapor in our atmosphere and the cells of all living things. During a deep freeze like the one we recently enjoyed, some say endured, ice crystals decorated our storm windows like etchin
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A burst of morning sunshine through a forest of trees in fall.

Insights and Interdependence of Trees

Hello fellow readers, We’ve shared the intrigue of two living fossils – Ginkgo biloba and the Umbrella Pine, both living in the days of the dinosaurs and surviving the Ice Age. The magnitude of their endurance is inspiring. And they’ve shared roots beyond the roots of thei
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an umbrella pine in snow decorated with Christmas balls.

Gentle Strength of Umbrella Pine

Hello fellow readers, I thought we’d forgo the tradition of decorating one of my favorite evergreen conifers – the Umbrella Pine. It stands above the two-story roof, so it’s not an easy task. Last year half the new lights failed way before Christmas, lessening the enthusia
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a softball sized red Christmas Ball on a weeping hemlock with the frosting of a heavy frost.

Holiday Decorating Reflections

Hello fellow readers; While decorating for the holiday can be hectic, I hope you find comfort and joy in reflections on Christmas pasts. You may remember the story of the replacement tree planted in memory of Miss Ellie Mae a year ago. The first tree, a ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ Bl
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a Ginkgo biloba tree with a forty-foot wide canopy along a sidewalk

Enduring Hope of Ginkgo Trees

Hello fellow readers, A dear friend, Vicki Johnson, sent a Thanksgiving card she made with a beautiful photograph of a maple leaf in its fall glory. On the back, there’s folklore about catching a falling leaf bringing good luck with golden Ginkgo biloba leaves cascading amongst
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a sunset in a winter snow at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice

Winter Season of Growth

Hello fellow readers, Earlier in the Fall, I attended a luncheon for the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice volunteers. I sat with my singing buddy Ken Roberts and met Suzanne, a fellow volunteer. We chatted about the glorious sunny fall day. “Winter is coming.” “I love winte
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