Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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No need for bad haircuts

Hello Fellow Readers, Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom announcing spring has arrived! I love the sunny yellow welcome to the bland dormant landscape. It’s true after the early yellow wakeup call they can turn into unwieldy shrubs inspiring folks to prune them into unnatur
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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 presentation
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Dreaded Canker Disease

Hello Fellow Readers, Hector and Judy of Morristown NJ, longtime clients become friends, have a “Big and Little” vignette of blue spruces that have begun to decline. Their little blue looks as though the needles were stripped from the lower branches. “Did the deer do this to my baby b
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Flowers of the Holy Night

Hello Fellow Readers, Poinsettias are one of the most popular plants to decorate our homes for Christmas. I recall the first time seeing them growing outside in Florida while walking the neighborhood with my folks who lived there for over 30 years. Poinsettias as tall as the houses! C
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Bee Kind

Hello Fellow Readers, There’s quite a buzz about widely-used insecticides impacting our pollinators. One out of every three bites of food depend on a pollinator; hence they are critical to our food supply. Digging through research, there are varying opinions on the effect of insectici
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Growing Around Septic Systems

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week we shared Pam and Ed’s steep garden dilemma leading to the flat back forty where their septic field is. Ed thought it best not to plant anything over the field as the root systems could interfere. It’s true it’s not good to plant trees, large shrubs or
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a Native American Treasure

  Hello Fellow Readers, One of the marvels of Cape May NJ is the abundance of Silver Maple trees that shimmer along roadsides. Silver Maple, Acer saccharinum, are native to the eastern US and Canada and are often found near water. Hence they’ve acquired other common names such as
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Fall is for Planting

Hello fellow readers, We’ve had a brief hiatus from the heat and humidity, but its quick return has me weary. It occurs to me one of the biggest challenges in the garden of life is limited time. It’s true finding time in the garden is harder and harder as the summer unfolds. I b
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Juglone Companions

Hello fellow readers, One of the native trees that grace my yard is a shagbark hickory (Carya ovata). Its common name speaks for itself, with shaggy bark that stands out like a sculpture. But a treasure to some can be a nuisance to others. It’s true, the first time a golf ball sized n