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

Native Rhododendrons

It felt adventurous to walk a new route enjoying the beauty of a landscape not yet seen. Along Sandhill Road in Blairstown NJ, there’s a steep hill carpeted with golden-brown leaves and a thick colony of native rhododendron standing twelve feet tall. The deciduous trees above, naked o

Honeylocust Trees

Native Honeylocust has long bean-looking seedpods I used to decorate window boxes. The fascinating tree's sharp spikes are prominent this time of year. It’s remarkable how nature creates mechanisms to protect trees from predators - much like a porcupine.

Legend of Holly & Christmas Trees

Hello Fellow Readers, In search of a special Christmas card, I found one at our local tractor supply. The cover intrigued me. “The Legend of the Christmas Tree,” it said, with an artist rendering of a man on a horse pulling an evergreen towards a log cabin nestled in the woods. The Le

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

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

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

When to Prune Hydrangea, Deer!

Hello Fellow Readers, Deer devastation is ramping up in our neck of the woods. I woke to the swath of Bigleaf hydrangeas mowed down despite precautionary spraying using Deer Out, an organic go-to. I’ve used it for years. The devastation brought weepy eyes, which seems silly in hindsig
Rosa-Dr.-Van-Fleet -Climbing-Roses

The Beauty and Beast of Roses

Hello Fellow Readers, One should never judge another based on appearances – a lesson shared in the Beauty and the Beast enjoyed at the Papermill Theatre in Milburn NJ. Curt’s seen the Disney movie dozens of times – a favorite of his stepdaughter’s growing up. Like I, my garden d

Avis Campbell Gardens

Hello Fellow Readers, I spent last weekend with over a hundred self-proclaimed tech-nerds participating in the first NJ Word Camp. There were non-techies too, that would be me, who use the WordPress platform for websites or blogging. I was there in hopes of improving this website of o
Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone, Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Black Knot

Black Knot

Hello Fellow Readers, I recently heard from John of Sparta NJ. I’ve heard from him periodically over the last eleven years for which I am wholeheartedly grateful. He’s been providing updates on his mother and father-in-law; my former in-laws, who I dearly love. Sadly, he shared that D