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

Hello fellow readers, Last week, I confess, I crumbled under the stress of racing to meet deadlines. It felt paralyzing with classic symptoms of anxiety… tight chest and labored breathing. It’s a good thing I’m in good shape, I thought to myself, so my heart can ride the race. I
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Beautiful Bulbs well worth waiting for…

Hello fellow readers, I just ordered 500 bulbs and am ramping up to dig them in. I confess that planting bulbs are not my favorite to-do and in truth, I haven’t planted them in many years. Maybe because the gratification comes months later, though beautiful things are well worth waiti
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Leaf Mold – Better than Mulch

Hello fellow readers, Is fall a good time to mulch, asked John of Washington NJ? I think so, especially because when spring arrives there’s much to do in the garden and for me, the madness of the season speedily unfolds. This spring, like most springs, mulching didn’t happen despite m
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Rainy Summer’s Impact on Fall color

Hello fellow readers, On September 22nd, the first day of fall, our weather seemed to turn a switch and leaves began to drop. It’s no surprise the early leaf changers and droppers, customarily maples, are showing wounds from the growing season endured. I stumbled upon one such leaf wh
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Terrariums: a Mini-gardening Warmup

Hello Fellow Readers, Just before our gardens kicked into gear, I had the privilege of dropping in on a succulent event hosted by A&J Messina Greenhouses in Blairstown NJ which served as a mini-gardening warmup. What a lively group of over seventy guests learning how to make a ter
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Witch Hazel’s Winter Reprieve

Hello fellow readers, Blooms beyond the white and grey of winter are emerging and one of the first to appear, with tiny mops of late winter blooms, is witch hazel. The same plant that makes the staple astringent on hand next to your bottle of rubbing alcohol and peroxide. However, the
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Thanksgiving Blessings

Hello fellow readers, I am thankful for the dormant perennials with seed heads that feed our feathered friends, who will surely leave plenty to fall to the ground and germinate come spring. I marvel over the structure and bark of statuesque trees, more visible now, as the leaves they’
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A Nutty Winter in Store?

Hello fellow readers, Nuts are abundant this fall which, in weather folklore, means a harsh winter is ahead. When walking around our Shagbark Hickory trees (Carya ovata) it feels as though I’m skating on marbles. The first time I was introduced to shagbark nuts was when a golf ball si
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Preparing for Winter Gardens

Hello fellow readers, It’s the time of year for tending to leaves and tidying our gardens for a long winters rest. The truth is though, our gardens don’t rest. The fallen leaves and decaying plant material are providing nourishment for next year’s growth by decomposing and putting nut
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Worrisome Needle Drop

Hello fellow readers, Andrea of Morristown NJ asked what’s going on with her white pines. Seeing evergreens drop needles often triggers concern. It’s kind of like an abundance of hairs in your shower drain. Evergreen foliage, despite their name, does not live forever. As new growth em