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

Christmas Cactus

Hello fellow readers, Not a single write-in this week but I won’t take it personally.  No doubt everyone is up to their eyeballs in the fa la la la la of the holidays. So if I may ask my own question about the timing of my 15-year old Christmas cactus which has bloomed well before Tha

Encouraging Self-Seeding

Hello fellow readers, Since my recent admission several of you have fessed up that you have yet to cut back your perennials.  Glad I am not the only one!  And it is true that leaving seed heads on your dormant perennials over winter will encourage many of your plants to spread.  John

Winter Weather Predictions 2013-14

Hello fellow readers, Winter predictions are always a popular topic this time of year. You’ve heard the folklore; the wider the middle brown section of the wooly bear caterpillar the milder the coming winter. The more frenzied the nut collecting of squirrels the harsher the wint

Thanksgiving Blessings

Hello fellow readers, I am thankful for the dormant perennials with seed heads awaiting their role to fall to the ground and germinate which makes me feel less guilty that I have yet to cut them back.  I appreciate the structure and bark of our beautiful trees more visible now and the

Recycling Leaves

Hello fellow readers, About leaf manners. It is not neighborly to put your leaves into other’s woods or fields without permission.  And, unless your town has a leaf sucking-up program (curbside vacuuming); putting them in the street is not a polite solution as they will blow onto your
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Last Call for Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Hello fellow readers, Last call for fall bulb planting! Kim from Hackettstown asked if I planted the snowdrops I wrote about in March. Thanks for the reminder Kim as my note to self seems to have gone missing. Snowdrops (Galanthus) create beautiful carpets of adorable little nodding w

Fall Dropping of Evergreen Needles

Hello fellow readers, Several of you have asked what’s going on with the White Pines. It’s true that seeing evergreens drop their needles often triggers concern. It’s kind of like an abundance of hairs in your shower drain. All trees and shrubs renew their foliage every year. The leav

Overwintering Tropical Plants

Hello fellow readers, Weather apps are no longer providing frost advisories as the growing season is over! It turns out many of you share the wish to keep things going.  Scott emailed wanting to overwinter palm trees he bought this summer but doesn’t have room in his house.  His garag

Overwintering Potted Gardens

Hello fellow readers, With the recent below freezing temperatures my garden ghost routine of covering pots with sheets to keep them from freezing has begun. Admittedly it’s silly as acceptance that the growing season is over will eventually set in; about when I grow weary of the ritua
Goldenrod in the wild

Goldenrod’s bad reputation

Hello fellow readers,      A bad reputation is hard to turn around! Sandy from Sparta questioned a recommendation to add Solidago to her fall garden.  The common name is Goldenrod after all and doesn’t it cause allergies? The real offender is Ragweed (Ambrosia ) which grows in the sam