Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Fair Talk Tidbits

Hello fellow readers, Thanks to those who braved the heat magnification of the glass conservatory during our pow-wow of garden dilemmas at the NJ State Fair. As always, critters were a hot topic. Lorraine of Sparta NJ, a Flower Show volunteer, master gardener, and friend who invited m
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Easter Wisdom from Mettler’s Woods

Hello fellow readers, On the second day of Spring, we braced for another round of blinding snow and high winds. Instead, a peaceful eight inches of fluff fell. Good thing as we were all weary. The snow melted quickly as temperatures warmed. Spring is here at last! But the cleanup of f
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Ladybugs: a Lucky Garden Gift

Hello fellow readers, I was chatting with Linda, my college roommate in southern California, who mentioned her friend Lore’s home is being swarmed by ladybugs. Many of us think of ladybugs as good luck which is said to have stemmed from farmers long ago, who prayed to the Virgin Mary
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Readying for Organic Veggies

Hello fellow readers, Sara from Oxford NJ asked how to prepare a plot in her backyard for organic vegetable gardening come spring. She suspects the previous owners used chemicals as when they moved in, the lawn “looked like a golf course.” Kudos Sara. It’s smart to consider the previo
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Fungi Impacted Leaves in the Garden

Hello fellow readers, This growing season provided a perfect environment for foliar disease. Earlier in the summer Hector from Morristown, NJ sent a photo of his Mom’s maple tree dotted with black spots. “All the leaves seem to have the cooties.” I sent the photo off to my favorite as
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Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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Funky Vegetables

Hello Fellow Readers, This time of year, what fun it is to peruse seed catalogues. Green beans aren’t only green anymore. And tomatoes come in all sorts of shades and mottled blends of colors. There’s even tomatoes that stay green when they’re ripe. Charlotte of Stone Church PA
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Not so peachy…

Hello fellow readers, Jeanne of Blairstown NJ shared a gooey dilemma on her peach trees. Both trees have clear jelly-like globs on or near the fruit. Plus, a rust colored goo on some of the branches. One tree has a deep wound at the base of the trunk, yet that’s the tree producing edi
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Comfrey Garden

Hello fellow readers, Jacquie from Andover bought some comfrey seeds to try. She heard comfrey leaves are great for the soil and it’s true. Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis), native to Europe, can juice up your garden with nutrients. But before you opt to plant it, consider that
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Queen Anne’s Anomaly

Hello fellow readers, While on a road walk with Miss Ellie I came across a pinkish Queen Anne’s Lace flower with dark magenta edges on a plant where all the other flowers were the customary cream. What a gorgeous anomaly! It reminded me of grade school when we’d cut Queen Anne’s Lace