Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
A an older golden retriever with a white face and big smile named Miss Ellie Mae sitting in a garden .

Origin of Dog Days & Sweating Like a Pig

Hello fellow readers, Mysteriously, a photo of our dear Miss Ellie appeared while posting last week’s column. It was taken on a hot day while out weeding. Miss Ellie plopped herself in the garden to cool herself off. It brought a smile as recently I snagged a photo of Jolee doin
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a reddish-brown Red-Shouldered Hawk perched in a tree in daytime

Visions of the Red-Shouldered Hawk

Hello fellow readers, The podcast version of last week’s story about the Magical Trail of Renewal (Episode 63) includes the story of a robin family that once again took up residence in the Doublefile viburnum outside the kitchen window. The nest was higher in the oversized shrub
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a white plastic bag stuck in a tree

Repurposing Pots & Bags into Benches

Hello fellow readers, Repurposing garden pots and turning plastic bags into benches or composite decks is kind to our environment. Now there are new rules banning single-use plastic and paper bags that put me into a tizzy, which is embarrassing to confess. A kind conversation with Dev
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the sun peering through a forest in the fall

Coretta Scott King Forest

Hello fellow readers, As I sit to write you, it’s Martin Luther King’s Day honoring a great man. In preparation, I dug through the internet maze to learn more about the advocate of equality, looking for a connection to gardens or nature to share with you today. And there i
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Close-up of winter berries in snow

Winter Beauty of Winterberry

Hello fellow readers, While enjoying the respite from gardening, we can relish the winter landscape filled with many treasures. Such as the winter beauty of native Winterberry I came upon along the access road to Camp Mohican in Blairstown, NJ— the red berries brilliant against the dr
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a grouping of tree stumps with smiling faces drawn in snow

Happy New Year of Growth

Hello Fellow Readers, The Press publishes a New Year’s pictorial issue to provide their staff time off between Christmas and New Year’s. I enjoy the deadline respite, too, but I wish to reach out to my faithful online readers and followers to thank you for sharing a bit of
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a red maple leaf resting on the edge of Catfish Pond

“Leaf Therapy” fills emptiness

Hello fellow readers, Camp Mohican has been a place of respite and contemplation since I moved to Blairstown, NJ, 21 years ago. Contiguous with the Appalachian Trail, it’s one of the reasons I relocated here. Walking amongst the trees always helps my heart. Yesterday, I desperat
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a brown chipmunk with cheeks stuffed with nuts

Beyond Nutty Mast Year

Hello fellow readers, These are nutty times—far nuttier than usual. Have you noticed the plentiful tree nuts as compared to last year? In my neck of the woods, the shagbark hickory nuts are overabundant and golf ball size. So much, so that walking amongst them is risky for ankle stabi
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a grey farm house peaking through the gardens of Willowwood Arboretum

Wandering Willowwood Arboretum

Hello Fellow Readers, What a delight to wander through Willowwood Arboretum, invited by dear friends Ruth and Jim of Hope, NJ. I had never heard about the public garden, free to visit; that’s part of the Morris County Park system. Tucked away in Far Hills, NJ, the journey throug
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A burst of morning sunshine through a forest of trees in fall.

Forest Bathing

Hello fellow readers, Once again, I begin our chat dictating while walking in the sights and sounds of nature. As I reflect on a pet loss ceremony we attended on Sunday, a monarch butterfly joins us, flying a bit ahead bringing a smile as the event was a butterfly release ceremony. Bu
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