Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
yellow forsythia in bloom with the ealry morning making it glow

Forsythia not blooming?

Hello fellow readers, Denise from Mt. Tabor, PA, asked why her forsythia aren’t blooming. You’re not the only one, Denise; mine hasn’t either for over two years. Non-blooming forsythia most often has to do with improper pruning. Though deer browse, not enough sunlight, improper
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a leafless three foot wide trunk of an old black walnut tree ina late winter lawn

Fruits and Veggies near Black Walnut

Hello fellow readers, Last week, I had the privilege of visiting with Elisabeth, who moved back to Blairstown from Chicago to be near her family. She purchased a farm built in the 1800s and is amid renovating and restoring the house and barn. Elisabeth wishes for a landscape design fi
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a large patch of bark fallen from an ash tree

Emerald Ash Borer a Lost Cause?

Hello fellow readers, Upon investigating the culprit of a tree largely de-barked, I learned the US Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection recently dropped the quarantine laws to prevent the further spread of Emerald Ash Borer. Could it be that EAB is a lost cause? After the
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blonde woman in pink garden with a three foot tall blue spruce in a red pot

Ellie’s Living Christmas Tree

Hello fellow readers, We were late putting up a Christmas tree due to waffling of what type of tree to decorate—a cut tree, an artificial, or a living Christmas tree, perhaps. In truth, my indecisiveness is mostly because of a heavy heart. The tree is on the corner of the family room
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closeup of greenish maroon oakleaf hydrangea leaves with reddish brown dry flowers in fall

Oakleaf Hydrangea for All Seasons

Hello fellow readers, While it’s a wrap for gardening this year, there’s still beauty in our late-fall and winter gardens, thanks to plants with all-season interest. One of the standouts is one of my favorites—Oakleaf Hydrangeas in their glory now. Their husky oak-shaped l
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three spruce trees along a driveway bare of most needles due to spruce fungal diseases

Spruce Disease Dilemmas

Hello fellow readers, While spruce disease dilemmas such as Canker Disease and Needle Cast are sadly destroying trees, there are lessons to gain from prevention and remedies that came from an exchange with new clients I’d like to share. It is a delight to begin working with Lori
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a closeup of a flopping limelight hydrangea

Flopping Limelight Hydrangea

Hello Fellow Readers, Lorraine from Sparta, NJ, writes, “Hi, Mary!  Hope you’re well. I have a Limelight Hydrangea garden dilemma. I prune it every spring to about three feet. It grows to a total of about six or seven feet tall and wide by August with ginormous blooms. But with the he
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two woman and a man planting a redbud tree in front of a highschool

A Forest Pansy Redbud of Hope

Hello Fellow Readers, The printed version of our column in The Press is back on the stands. It’s nice to see some things returning to how they used to be. Others will never be the same, which is always the case. A sure thing in life is it’s ever-changing. May a rainbow of
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two hydrangea leaves perfectly stuck together creating what looks like a tent.

Hydrangea Leaf-tiers

Hello Fellow Readers, The violence added to the pandemic is hard to comprehend. A foundation of our column, shared over eight years, is finding lessons in our gardens and nature and taking these lessons into the garden of life. And so, especially this week, we long for wisdom to sooth
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hemlokc trees wiht lower branches

Hemlocks Dying from Bottom Up

Hello Fellow Readers, Robert, an associate landscape installer, asked about a client’s Canadian hemlock installed about two years ago dying from the bottom up. Likely causes of Hemlocks Dying from the bottom up When he first described the dilemma, I thought the issue might not b
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