Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a favorite mulch alternative with large heart-shaped silver leaves outlined by a web of green veins and light purple flowers.

Plant Mulch Alternatives

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about remedies of carpenter ants and termites in mulch brings to mind the best solution of all. Plant mulch alternatives instead—groundcovers, which go beyond everyday ones like pachysandra and vinca minor. First, consider cultural requirem
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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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lady's mantle leaves with water droplets

Dollar Spot & Lotus Effect

Hello fellow readers, Have you noticed on a humid summer morning, sometimes there are shiny clusters of droplets on what looks like cobwebs in the lawn? The webs could be the branching nature of dollar spot fungus. Or, they may be the webs of grass spiders. Then there are the adorable
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Litter being picked up in a white grovery bag with a smiley face next to mugwort

Weeding Mugwort – Picking up Litter

Hello fellow readers, Did you ever wonder why folks toss trash out their window littering our world? Did someone teach them that? Or is it they have no respect for our dear earth. Rather than being angry about it as I used to be, I’ve begun to pick it up during road walks. I think of
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a garden of yellow daffodils in the shape of a cross

Dividing & Sharing Perennials

Hello Fellow Readers, I hope you enjoy the story of how I celebrated Easter 2020, dividing and sharing perennials. Easter with family wasn’t to be as I’m sure was true for most of you. Instead, we took a road trip up to Pine Bush, NY, to tend to my family’s plot. I b
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Marigolds-Races-Farm-Blairstown-NJ

The Legend of Marigolds

Hello Fellow Readers, I recently shopped for annuals for Ron of Stillwater NJ who wished for bright hues. Previously he planted marigolds. I haven’t used them for years, which likely has to do with a childhood memory of my first garden – primarily marigolds grown from seed. “Mar
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Choosing Annuals

Choosing Annuals

Hello Fellow Readers, (Excuse the late posting of this week’s column. I’ve been hobbling along without internet since last Tuesday’s Wizard of Oz storm. Humbling!) We have the green light for annuals based on the wisdom to wait until after the last frost date, typica
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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, Claudia West, Plant More Plants, Native Plants, Native Plants, Mimic Natrures Landscape, Natures Inspiration, Wild Garden

Plant more Plants!

Hello Fellow Readers, “Plant more plants” was music to my ears shared by Claudia West at the recent NJ Plants tradeshow held in Edison NJ. Claudia is the Ecological Sales Representative of North Creek Nurseries; my go-to wholesale propagation nursery in Landenberg, PA. Her presentatio
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Bad Bamboo?

Hello fellow readers, Recently Katie of Piscataway NJ 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 first glance, bamboo seems appealing
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Comfrey in the Garden, Castor Beans, Ricinus communis

Castor Bean Plants hide ‘Uglies’

Hello fellow readers, Last week, I shared the desperate measure of hacking back leatherleaf viburnums plagued with aphids. Ironically, Betsy from Stone Church PA asked about using castor beans plants in her garden, which is what I planted to camouflage the ‘uglies’ of the
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