Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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 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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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, cleaning natural stone patios

Safely Clean Stone Patios

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about Leaving Lichen and Moss Be brought a rally of like-minded folks (yay) such as Paulette from Wharton, who writes, “My goodness, mosses are fabulous, and lichens make wonderful art.” How true! But there can be safety concern
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A rock with moss in the shape of a hippo.

Let Lichen and Moss be

Hello fellow readers, Each spring, mostly from neat and tidies, the intention to remove moss or lichen from walls and walks comes up. Of course, if they cause a slipping hazard, the desire is justified. But what is it about moss and lichen that folks don’t like? Moss is cute and
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a favorite mulch alternative with large heart-shaped silver leaves outlined by a web of green veins and light purple flowers.

Plant Mulch Alternatives

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about remedies of carpenter ants and termites in mulch brings to mind the best solution of all. Plant mulch alternatives instead—groundcovers, which go beyond everyday ones like pachysandra and vinca minor. First, consider cultural requirem
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a blue jay perched on a bird feeder

Blue Jays Bad Reputation

Hello fellow readers, I have a confession to make about a grudge held for blue jays being aggressive, which originates from being beaked by one while jogging in Cliffside Park, NJ, where I once lived. They certainly are beautiful birds with sky blue coloring and black and white accent
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closeup of a beige-colored cave cricket on a white background

Do Cave Crickets Benefit the Garden?

Hello fellow readers,  Jolee came upon an American toad in the lawn to the left of a drainage swale.  I’m glad she didn’t pounce for the kill, the fate of cave crickets, though we are grateful for her finesse. Our rescue pup is indeed earning her keep. The darn things ador
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