Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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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 womnaiwht short brown hair planting perennials on a steep slope

Planting a Steep Woodland Garden

Hello fellow readers, Working with Stephanie of Denville, NJ, who moved from the west coast, was a privilege. She bought a cute cottage in a lake community overlooking a magnificent forest. The severe back slope is a dilemma for those who wish to meander amongst the trees. That’
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purple flowers and heart shaped leaves next to stone patio.

Favorite Plants between Steppingstones

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about cleaning stone walks and patios without harming plants in the nooks and crannies brings the question of favorite plants between steppingstones or amid patios. I adore volunteers Many favs found their way on their own, like the Lady
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red rose shrub in front of golden dry grasses along Virginia Beach

Gardens along Virginia Beach

Hello Fellow Readers, As we speak, I’m overlooking the gardens along Virginia Beach. Three years ago, our last time here was with Miss Ellie in tow, how she loved it here. It’s heartwarming to see Jolee put her paws in the sand for the first time. Along the shoreline is a
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A selfie of black sneakers on a lawn filled with sunny yellow dandelions

Benefits of Plantain & Dandelion “Weeds”

Hello fellow readers, Have you ever considered plantain, the flat-leaved weed with spikey seed heads that invade your lawn, a beneficial plant? It was news to me to learn that plantain is a valuable herb, though I’ve known for years that dandelions should be considered welcome l
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A man in blue jeans and blue shirt gardening with a black and white dog.

Gardening with Dogs

Hello fellow readers,  We planted Ellie’s memorial tree over the weekend, a ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ Blue Spruce that served as our Christmas tree. It was a heartfelt moment as Jolee stood nearby watching. And, she helped dig a few holes in the yard too. Yup, we have a digge
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a dog and cat sculpture in a memorial garden at an animal shelter

Father John’s Animal House Garden

Hello fellow readers, Last week, I enjoyed a visit with facilitators of a recently installed memorial garden at Father John’s Animal House, a no-kill rescue facility in Lafayette, NJ. My colleague and dear friend Marty of Three Seasons Garden Design volunteered to create the gar
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Outcomes of a DIYer

Hello Fellow Readers, Chris from Morristown, NJ, wrote in, “My small Shasta daisies didn’t survive the winter, so I’ll have to choose another variety.  Also, the holly is on a lifeline right now. I’m upset because it was doing well.” Chris is a hardcore DIYer who did an extraordinary
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She’s a Beautyberry

Hello fellow readers, It’s a marvel how life brings people together. It’s one of the joys gained from the work I do. Especially when I rub shoulders with fellow gardeners, many far more accomplished than I in nurturing plants. Such is the case of Jacquie of Byram NJ who reached out fo
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