Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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a pink flowering weeping cherry tree with reverted white flowering straight branches

Reverting Weeping Cherry

Hello fellow readers, What’s this about trees reverting back to their roots? Marcia from Columbia, NJ, sent a photo of her pink flowering weeping cherry. “There are two large boughs with pure white blossoms.” The tree looks like it has a spikey haircut as the white b
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red fox sleeping in lawn

Sharing Comfort & Perennials

Hello fellow readers, Walking Jolee the morning after attending Comfort Zone Camp, a grief camp for kids, became a reflection of cherishing the season’s magnificence unfolding. We count on it from year to year; some may take it for granted. Others marvel with gratitude. I notice
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a pruned hedge of yellow flowering forsythia along a white farm fence

Forsythia Hedge at Hospice

Hello fellow readers, I’m a fan of allowing plants and people to grow to what they are meant to be. Not mold them into something they are not or prune them into unnatural shapes. Although formal gardens often call for pruned hedges or topiaries and such. And so, there are except
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tips of pussy willow branches with puffy catkins against a bright blue sky

Easter Pussy Willows

Hello fellow readers, Outside the screened porch is a stump of what was a large pussy willow planted by the previous owners. It was in severe decline before we cut it down last fall. It typically bloomed around Easter, which is likely why we decorate with pussy willows during the holi
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purple flowers and heart shaped leaves next to stone patio.

Favorite Plants between Steppingstones

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about cleaning stone walks and patios without harming plants in the nooks and crannies brings the question of favorite plants between steppingstones or amid patios. I adore volunteers Many favs found their way on their own, like the Lady
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A rock with moss in the shape of a hippo.

Let Lichen and Moss be

Hello fellow readers, Each spring, mostly from neat and tidies, the intention to remove moss or lichen from walls and walks comes up. Of course, if they cause a slipping hazard, the desire is justified. But what is it about moss and lichen that folks don’t like? Moss is cute and
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a black and white dg overlooking a heart shaped stone amongst fry leaves and yellow Coltsfoot flowers.

Love Gardening – Love Yourself

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s story about personal growth with houseplants came with a struggle of self-doubt. Then came a recording by Louise Hay with an analogy to starting a garden that I hope will inspire you to love gardening and love yourself. Early Spring Houseplant t
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a green leafed houseplant with orange flowers that resemble gold fish

Personal Growth with Houseplants

Hello fellow readers, Those who tune into the podcast version of our column know I’ve mentioned the idea of sharing the history of houseplants enjoyed for decades. Well, I finally tackled it, and it turned into a story about personal growth with houseplants. It occurs to me ther
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a bouquet of summer flowers including sunflowers and orange Gerber daisies.

Joy of Receiving Cut Flowers

Hello fellow readers, I’ll admit I am not a huge fan of cut flowers, though I find artful arrangements lovely. But I always feel bad when the flowers fade, tossing them in the compost pile when a houseplant gift lasts for years. Recently a story came from a dear friend who bring
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