Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
Native-Rhododendron-Leaves

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-Spikes

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.
Holly-on-Angel

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
Pink-Peony-Flower

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
Cedar-Tree-Decline

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
Deer-Browsed-Hydrangea

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-Garden-Fountain

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