Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
two yellow flowering sunflower heads

Delights in my Dry Summer Garden

Hello fellow readers, As I write, it is Labor Day, a day of rest for many, and thankfully soft rain has begun. Countless plants in our gardens and trees and shrubs are tired from the dry summer we endured. But there is magnificence too. This morning I invite you to walk with me to fin
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a white cotton candy looking nest of fall webworms in a tree against a bright blue sky

Fall Webworm vs. Tent Caterpillars

Hello fellow readers, Have you noticed what looks like cotton candy decorating trees? I thought they were Eastern tent caterpillars, also called tent worms, we see in spring. But it turns out the white webs, often two feet wide, are fall webworms –tent worms’ close cousins. Comp
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A an older golden retriever with a white face and big smile named Miss Ellie Mae sitting in a garden .

Origin of Dog Days & Sweating Like a Pig

Hello fellow readers, Mysteriously, a photo of our dear Miss Ellie appeared while posting last week’s column. It was taken on a hot day while out weeding. Miss Ellie plopped herself in the garden to cool herself off. It brought a smile as recently I snagged a photo of Jolee doin
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Rosemary DeTrolio, wiht dark shoulder length hair and a blue shirt, sitting on a garden step with her two tan dogs

Sharing Garden Blessings with Rosemary

Hello fellow readers, I enjoyed sharing stories of garden blessings with Rosemary DeTrolio while visiting her garden in Hope, NJ—a serene plot of vegetables and flowers planted by an extraordinary lady whose calling is to help others grow their spirit. As the owner of Hands of Light b
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a cluster of shiny green and rust colored Japanese Beetles feeing on a plant

Safely Controlling Japanese Beetles

Hello fellow readers,  In last week’s chat, we marveled over the miracle of a robin’s nest though we don’t feel the same about baby insects, other than perhaps caterpillars that turn into butterflies. We sure don’t feel the same way about Japanese beetles wreak
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a man and woman carrying a blue banner of the Blairstown Rotary followed by a yellow rubber duck float at the town Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day of Remembrance & Hope

Join me in reflections on the Blairstown Memorial Parade honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. We also hold in our hearts and honor those currently in service and those suffering from war’s physical and mental repercussions as we pray for peace. 88 Hello fellow reader
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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
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red fox sleeping in lawn

Sharing Comfort & Perennials

Hello fellow readers, Walking Jolee the morning after attending Comfort Zone Camp, a grief camp for kids, became a reflection of cherishing the season’s magnificence unfolding. We count on it from year to year; some may take it for granted. Others marvel with gratitude. I notice
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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
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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
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