Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
Blackberry Lily Flowers

Blackberry Lily & Soil Remediation

Of all Suzanne's perennials, only her Blackberry Lilies were competing heartedly with the Stilt Grass, and so, I guessed they too might be considered invasive. Maybe not! One of the joys of working with fellow gardeners is learning about unusual plants. Plus, how to remediate invasive
Garlic-closeup

When & How to Plant Garlic

Hello Fellow Readers, Karen of Washington, NJ, emailed, “When should I plant garlic? I’m going to put leaves in my raised beds. Should I mix them in with dirt or just lay leaves on top?” Two great questions! Garlic, Allium sativum, can be planted in the fall or early spring as soon as
Ripening-Tomatoes-indoors

Fall Tomato Hand-me-Downs

Hello Fellow Readers, While wrapping up the fall planting season, providing garden tweaks for a longstanding client become friend, I had the delight of receiving veggie garden hand-me-downs. Ed of Bridgewater NJ was tidying up his pots filled with green tomatoes; some plants were stil
Pink-Peony-Flower

Peony Planting Time

Hello Fellow Readers, Fall is an ideal time to plant peonies. Not to say you can’t install them in the spring. But fall-planted peony will more quickly establish and flower sooner; some say a year before. We adore peonies for their magnificent sweet fragrance and palm-size flowers in
Spiderwort-Tradescantia-ohiensis

Spiderwort invading Pachysandra

Hello Fellow Readers, I received an inquiry about an invasion amongst a patch of pachysandra from Josephine (Jo) of Phillipsburg, NJ. “How do I best get rid of spider warts?” she asked. We shared a back-and-forth email chat that played out like an investigation. “I never heard of spid
Purple-Cone-Flower-Echinacea

Deer Resistant Butterfly Plants

Hello Fellow Readers, We spoke a few weeks back about Sarah’s mile-a-minute weedy dilemma in Hope, NJ. She proudly sent photos of the clear-out of her front foundation garden poised to be a butterfly garden. Sarah asked if there’s a list of native deer resistant butterfly plants she c
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Mile-a-Minute Weed

Hello Fellow Readers, Sarah of Hope, NJ, was shy about providing photos in advance of our Landscape Review and Recommendation meeting. Primarily because she fell behind in her garden maintenance, something I share especially this time of year. Given the amount of rain we’ve had, the w

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
Cedar-Tree-Decline

Evergreen Decline & Artillery Fungus

Hello Fellow Readers, I visited Sandy in Sparta, NJ, not long ago who was concerned about her evergreens. We planted Microbiota decussata, commonly called Siberian cypress, along a rocky embankment to help with erosion. And, to serve as a feathery evergreen groundcover; a softer solut
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Birds & Bees of Zucchini Flowers

Hello Fellow Readers, I am a new owner of a big girl camera. A digital Nikon SLR. Previously I’ve relied on a point and shoot camera, “which is getting long in the tooth,” per my dear Curt. Funny saying, long in the tooth that stems from how horses’ teeth continue to grow, which indic