Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
tan beech leaves clinging to beech tree banches

Beloved Beech Trees

Hello fellow readers, One of the gems that jumped out from The Book of Hope we chatted about last week is Jane Goodall’s closest childhood friend Beech, a beech tree she asked her grandmother to pass on to her in a handwritten will. You see, I have a beloved Mr. Beech too, altho
Read More
A white-stemmed birch tree amongst pink flowering mountain laurel with a golden retriever along a grassy path.

Birch Tree’s Strength in Flexibility

Hello fellow readers, When you think about it, the most resilient things in nature are soft and pliable, like blades of grass that bounce back after being trampled. And trees that sway with the wind, enduring severe storms, heavy snow, or ice. Birch trees, one of my favs, have a reput
Read More
the foliage of an avocado tree loaded with flower buds

A Magical Avocado Tree

Hello fellow readers, My “big kid” project is dragging on, but I haven’t given up hope. You may recall the column inspired by Cheryl of Blairstown, who I met while walking Jolee. She started avocado seeds in water as a science experiment to encourage her daycare cent
Read More
a snow scene with a bird house and hemlocks covered with snow

Inventorying Gardens and our Lives

Hello fellow readers, Life cycles are much like the cycles of nature and the seasons, and while our plants are dormant is a perfect time for inventorying gardens and our lives. Looking forward. Then, looking back.  It occurs to me when we are young, entering adulthood, we are in a sta
Read More
a dark purple blooming clematis climbing on an obelisk

Plants Inspire-Turning Over a New Leaf

Hello fellow readers,  A New Year, just as birthdays, gifts the opportunity to start fresh—maybe to begin new things or improve upon others. A chance for turning over a new leaf, as they say. One new leaf I’d like to turn over is sharing more of how plants inspire our lives. Let
Read More
a blondewoman in sunglasses and grey sweatshirt planting a blue spruce.

Ball and Burlap versus Potted Tree

Hello fellow readers, There’s a difference between ball and burlap versus potted trees. And sometimes B&B’s are disguised as container plants, a lesson I learned a sad way. But tending to the outside decorating over the weekend turned the sadness into laughs and happy
Read More
the canopy of a Tree of Heaven canopy against a blue sky

Why is it called Tree of Heaven?

Hello fellow readers, Jolee and I pass a mature stand of Tree of Heaven on our morning walks. There’s been a sickening smell of rotting apples for weeks now, and the trunks are loaded with Spotted Lanternflies. And I ask myself, why is it called Tree of Heaven? Spotted Lanterfly
Read More
Head shot of Mary Stone in a straw hat   Join my free weekly newsletter!
Holler Box