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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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 elderly woman and middle aged woman walking through an arbor

Boxwood Dilemmas & Garden Delights

Hello fellow readers, What a joy to visit with Connie and Susan of Blairstown, NJ. I met Susan and her husband, Don, while walking Jolee. They are building a home nearby, and Jolee (and I) have grown to adore them. One day we spoke about her mom, who loves to garden. Susan said a few
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A flat topped mushroom amongst moss and a bottlebrush buckeye leaf

Mary Reynolds and Nurturing Nature

Hello fellow readers, After a long day placing plants, I did what I rarely do. I settled down in front of the television to veg out. Legs elevated on pillows to lessen foot fatigue, clicker in hand; I stumbled upon a movie based on a true story titled Dare to be Wild, about Mary Reyno
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Designing Garden Layers

Hello Fellow Readers, “Plant more plants” was music to my ears shared by Claudia West at a NJ Plants tradeshow held in Edison, NJ, a while back. Claudia is the Ecological Sales Representative of North Creek Nurseries, my go-to wholesale propagation nursery in Landenberg, P
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Bright yellow daisy-like flowers of Swamp Sunflower near a lake.

Native Plants for Native Pollinators

Hello fellow readers, About a year ago, I enjoyed a visit to a free public garden managed by the Morris County Park Commission tucked away in Far Hills, NJ, which became a column topic titled Wandering Willowwood Arboretum. Bruce Crawford, formerly the Director of Rutgers Gardens, joi
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a white cotton candy looking nest of fall webworms in a tree against a bright blue sky

Fall Webworm vs. Tent Caterpillars

Hello fellow readers, Have you noticed what looks like cotton candy decorating trees? I thought they were Eastern tent caterpillars, also called tent worms, we see in spring. But it turns out the white webs, often two feet wide, are fall webworms –tent worms’ close cousins. Comp
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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 brown chipmunk with cheeks stuffed with nuts

Chipmunk Remedies & Legends

Hello fellow readers, I hope you enjoy the story of Jolee’s big dig, inspiring a chat about chipmunk remedies and legends about why they have stripes. “It’s the only way I could get her to stop digging.” Three weeks ago, after working in the field, I came home
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a cluster of shiny green and rust colored Japanese Beetles feeing on a plant

Safely Controlling Japanese Beetles

Hello fellow readers,  In last week’s chat, we marveled over the miracle of a robin’s nest though we don’t feel the same about baby insects, other than perhaps caterpillars that turn into butterflies. We sure don’t feel the same way about Japanese beetles wreak
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