Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
A rejuvinated pruned maroon leaf smokebush in bloom that looks like smok

Rejuvenation Pruning & Smokebush

Hello, fellow lover of all things green, It felt therapeutic to tend to the rejuvenation pruning of the Smokebush and other shrubs. Rejuvenation pruning involves drastically cutting back overgrown plants to restore them to their intended shape or to manage their size, which was the ca
Read More
A family rejuvenate pruning and overgrown foundation planting along a brick-faced house.

Rejuvenation Pruning Lifts Hearts

Hello fellow readers; Rejuvenation pruning lifts hearts, including mine, as I joined a lifelong friend and her grown sons to rejuvenate overgrown shrubs and renew their gardens. I hope you enjoy the story. It’s always fun to have a new hairdo, as has my friend Michele, who lives
Read More
yellow forsythia in bloom with the ealry morning making it glow

Forsythia not Blooming?

Hello fellow readers, Denise from Mt. Tabor, PA, asked why her forsythia aren’t blooming. You’re not the only one, Denise; mine hasn’t either for over two years. Non-blooming forsythia most often has to do with improper pruning. Though deer browse, not enough sunlight, improper
Read More
a closeup of a flopping limelight hydrangea

Flopping Limelight Hydrangea

Hello Fellow Readers, Lorraine from Sparta, NJ, writes, “Hi, Mary!  Hope you’re well. I have a Limelight Hydrangea garden dilemma. I prune it every spring to about three feet. It grows to a total of about six or seven feet tall and wide by August with ginormous blooms. But with the he
Read More
Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Palace Purple Coral Bells, Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple'

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
Read More
Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone, Gardening tips, Garden Blog, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, NJ Garden Coach, NJ Garden Speaker, 'Phenomenal' Lavender, Cutting back Woody Pernnials

Spring Cleanup & Pruning Lavender

Hello Fellow Readers, At last, the big cleanup. Curt and I spent eight hours cleaning up branches, sticks, and wheelbarrows of hickory nut hulls. The critters ate the nuts and left the husks. Talk about poor table manners. Then there were the bucket loads of cones, a sign our hemlocks
Read More
Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, NJ Garden Coach and Speaker,Mary Elaine Stone, Garden of Life, Forsythia, Rejeuvinating Forsythia, Pruning Forsythia

Pruning Forsythia vs. Bad Haircuts

Hello Fellow Readers, Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom, announcing spring has arrived! I love the sunny yellow welcome to the bland dormant landscape. It’s true after the early yellow wake-up call, they can turn into unwieldy shrubs, inspiring folks to prune them into unn
Read More

Bad Bamboo?

Hello fellow readers, Katie of Piscataway, NJ, recently shared her ‘horrible backyard dilemma.’ Her home was once her Dad’s, which piqued my curiosity. How could her Dad’s backyard be so horrible? It turns out the neighbor’s bamboo has taken over. At firs
Read More
withered and curled leaves from aphid damage on leatherleaf viburnum

Reasons to Prune

Hello fellow readers, The reasons to prune are similar to the reasons for caring for ourselves and our families– Improving appearance and health, training the young, controlling size, preventing injury or damage, rejuvenating the old, and influencing bounty. But choosing the rig
Read More

How to Rejuvenate Prune Rhododendron

Hello fellow readers, “They’re long and leggy,” wrote Melanie of Newton, NJ. She and her husband acquired a lake-side fixer-upper built over a half-century ago. The rhododendrons have grown taller than the house, and branches are resting on the roof. Fortunately, you
Read More