Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a large patch of bark fallen from an ash tree

Emerald Ash Borer a Lost Cause?

Hello fellow readers, Upon investigating the culprit of a tree largely de-barked, I learned the US Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection recently dropped the quarantine laws to prevent the further spread of Emerald Ash Borer. Could it be that EAB is a lost cause? After the
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blonde woman in pink garden with a three foot tall blue spruce in a red pot

Ellie’s Living Christmas Tree

Hello fellow readers, We were late putting up a Christmas tree due to waffling of what type of tree to decorate—a cut tree, an artificial, or a living Christmas tree, perhaps. In truth, my indecisiveness is mostly because of a heavy heart. The tree is on the corner of the family room
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pinkish-salmon colored poinsettia variety next to a red one

Poinsettia Varieties

Hello fellow readers, The other day, while shopping for groceries, I stumbled upon an array of poinsettia varieties arranged at the floral department entrance. Hopefully not annoying other shoppers, I snagged a bunch of photos to capture their beauty. Of course, there were the traditi
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closeup of greenish maroon oakleaf hydrangea leaves with reddish brown dry flowers in fall

Oakleaf Hydrangea for All Seasons

Hello fellow readers, While it’s a wrap for gardening this year, there’s still beauty in our late-fall and winter gardens, thanks to plants with all-season interest. One of the standouts is one of my favorites—Oakleaf Hydrangeas in their glory now. Their husky oak-shaped l
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a field of red poppies

History of Veterans Day Poppies

Hello fellow readers, Have you ever wondered why poppies are a symbol of Veterans Day? It stems from a powerful poem titled Flanders Fields, the name given to World War I battlefields from southern Belgium to north-west France. Flanders Fields is famously read at veterans memorial ser
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three spruce trees along a driveway bare of most needles due to spruce fungal diseases

Spruce Disease Dilemmas

Hello fellow readers, While spruce disease dilemmas such as Canker Disease and Needle Cast are sadly destroying trees, there are lessons to gain from prevention and remedies that came from an exchange with new clients I’d like to share. It is a delight to begin working with Lori
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a sundial in a garden of gravel and river stone and sedum

Sedum Garden

Hello fellow readers, Earlier this summer, I had the privilege of helping the Rimi’s of Washington, NJ, choose a few plants for their already beautiful gardens. What a unique property! There’s a small building, I think a springhouse in its day, charmingly serving as a back
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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
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spoon with tomato seeds and gel scooped out from a tomato

Saving Vegetable Seeds

Hello Fellow Readers, The idea of saving vegetable seeds came to me a few years back while buying produce at a farm market. One tomato weighed in at five bucks. True, it was a beefy one. When I shared my sticker shock, the farmer said it was an heirloom tomato grown organically. And s
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Deformed Flowers on Black Eyed Susan

Hello Fellow Readers, I have an assortment of deformed and dwarfed flowers on my Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) and Coneflower (Echinacea). In addition to distorted petals, some flowers didn’t form at all.  Plus, the ends of others look like something nibbled them off. The foliage
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