Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
Jolee, a white dog with black ears sniffing crown vetch along the road.

Knotweed meets Crown Vetch

Hello fellow readers, It’s interesting how beautiful plants like Japanese Knotweed arrive unintentionally while others like Crown Vetch are introduced purposely. Then both became invasive yet beneficial to pollinators. And so, a story about Knotweed meets Crown Vetch. Knotweed meets C
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A cluster of light green leaves next to a blue sky with sun shining through

Treasured Tuliptrees

Hello fellow readers, On Friday, while walking Jolee, I came upon a flower of a Tuliptree attached to a cluster of leaves. I learned about the culprit —squirrels building nests or sharpening their teeth, which became a column about the Litter of Tree Tips we see along roads and walks
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a newly installed front walkway and surrounding garden in front of a brown woodland home.

Watering New Plant Babies

Hello fellow readers, I adore helping clients design their gardens, procure plants, and place them, and now is a busy time. Last week was such fun working with Kathy and Sean of Shohola, PA, and their rescue dog Hank, who inspected the empty pots by sticking his head inside. Perhaps t
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a man and woman carrying a blue banner of the Blairstown Rotary followed by a yellow rubber duck float at the town Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day of Remembrance & Hope

Join me in reflections on the Blairstown Memorial Parade honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. We also hold in our hearts and honor those currently in service and those suffering from war’s physical and mental repercussions as we pray for peace. 88 Hello fellow reader
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Mary Stone on the outcropping at Blue Mountain Lake carrying Callie, a small brown dog, with Jolee, a large white and back dog at her feet.

Flora & Reflections from Blue Mountain Lake

Hello fellow readers, We recently hiked Blue Mountain Lake, an area frequently visited, though not in the summer. It’s become a beach for folks, not always respectful of others, playing loud music, leaving trash and dirty diapers attracting bears. Sad. But our visit was peaceful
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a tightly branched Alberta Spruce shrub with a mutating branch reverting to a regular white spruce

Mystery of Mutating Alberta Spruce

Hello fellow readers, We chatted recently about grafted weeping cherry trees that can revert to their rootstock and shoot out straight branches, often flowering a different color. Matthew from Hope, NJ, asked if that’s what’s happening to his Alberta Spruce. “It look
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a white plastic bag stuck in a tree

Repurposing Pots & Bags into Benches

Hello fellow readers, Repurposing garden pots and turning plastic bags into benches or composite decks is kind to our environment. Now there are new rules banning single-use plastic and paper bags that put me into a tizzy, which is embarrassing to confess. A kind conversation with Dev
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a pink flowering weeping cherry tree with reverted white flowering straight branches

Reverting Weeping Cherry

Hello fellow readers, What’s this about trees reverting back to their roots? Marcia from Columbia, NJ, sent a photo of her pink flowering weeping cherry. “There are two large boughs with pure white blossoms.” The tree looks like it has a spikey haircut as the white b
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red fox sleeping in lawn

Sharing Comfort & Perennials

Hello fellow readers, Walking Jolee the morning after attending Comfort Zone Camp, a grief camp for kids, became a reflection of cherishing the season’s magnificence unfolding. We count on it from year to year; some may take it for granted. Others marvel with gratitude. I notice
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a pruned hedge of yellow flowering forsythia along a white farm fence

Forsythia Hedge at Hospice

Hello fellow readers, I’m a fan of allowing plants and people to grow to what they are meant to be. Not mold them into something they are not or prune them into unnatural shapes. Although formal gardens often call for pruned hedges or topiaries and such. And so, there are except
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