Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a small butterfly with ornate green, taupe with white streak details

Gift of Meadows & Mountain Mint

Hello fellow readers, An invitation to a pool party inspired gathering flowers from the garden to bring to the hosts. One of the lovelies, Mountain Mint, reminds me of a walk in the meadow with my birder buddy and naturalist I look forward to sharing with you. Voluptuous Hydrangea Flo
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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 blue jay perched on a bird feeder

Blue Jays Bad Reputation

Hello fellow readers, I have a confession to make about a grudge held for blue jays being aggressive, which originates from being beaked by one while jogging in Cliffside Park, NJ, where I once lived. They certainly are beautiful birds with sky blue coloring and black and white accent
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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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robin in nest

Robins of Renewal in the Garden

Hello Fellow Readers, The American robin is considered a sign of renewal adored in the garden. Though migratory birds, you can create a garden to keep them in your yard year-round— if I may share a story of my family of robins. On Sunday, after “first call” with Miss Ellie
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Close up of a purple dahlia

Spring Planted Bulbs

Hello Fellow Readers, Last evening, I enjoyed an outing to Papermill Theatre in Millburn, NJ, which allowed me to brain pick my design colleague and friend Marty about her favorite spring bulbs to plant in the spring. Since my snow dance didn't seem to work — not one cross-country ski
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Swarm-of-Common-Grackles

Swarming Common Grackles

Hello Fellow Readers, While recording episode six of my new podcast series from the screened porch, an arresting sound came from thousands of swarming blackbirds that landed in our front yard. Squawking and feeding for a few minutes, then they took off in a synchronized wave – e
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Dutch-Clover-Field

Clover Lawn Alternative

Hello Fellow Readers, I stumbled upon the most beautiful field of clover leading to glorious reasons while white clover makes a magnificent lawn alternative. Pollinators were scurrying from one dainty puff to another, busily gathering nectar and pollen. Their hairy legs were combing t
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Marigolds-Races-Farm-Blairstown-NJ

The Legend of Marigolds

Hello Fellow Readers, I recently shopped for annuals for Ron of Stillwater, NJ, who wished for bright hues. Previously he planted marigolds. I haven’t used them for years, likely due to a childhood memory of my first garden – primarily marigolds grown from seed. “Mary̵
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Doublefile Viburnum Angels

Hello Fellow Readers, I am thrilled to report the robin mentioned last week did indeed nest in the Doublefile Viburnum outside our kitchen window. Perhaps the same robin that nested there last year. Both momma and poppa robin are involved in the homemaking and childrearing, though mom
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