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

Robins of Renewal in the Garden

Hello Fellow Readers, The American robin is considered a sign of renewal adored in the garden. Though migratory birds, you can create a garden to keep them in your yard year-round— if I may share a story of my family of robins. On Sunday, after “first call” with Miss Ellie
sunbeam through branches of beach tree with emerging leaves

Unusual Spring & Soil Temperature

Hello Fellow Readers, The spring sure is unfolding at an unusual pace. Many are asking why the leaves on trees look stunted—or reporting perennials that haven’t come back. Give it time. Much has to do with soil temperatures, but Mother Nature has a way of sorting things out. Dur
Pale pink peony flower wiht yellow center

History & Meaning of Mother’s Day

Hello Fellow Readers,  A friend’s mom passed away recently. Eleanor, a grand 98, lived an exceptionally long life. Still, losing a mom is heartbreaking. When Barbara called to share the news, she said how close it is to Mother’s Day. We always celebrate our Moms, I assured
a garden of yellow daffodils in the shape of a cross

Dividing & Sharing Perennials

Hello Fellow Readers, I thought you’d enjoy the story of how I celebrated Easter dividing and sharing perennials. Easter with family wasn’t to be as I’m sure was true for most of you. Instead, we took a road trip up to Pine Bush, NY, to tend to my family’s plot
A rejuvinated pruned maroon leaf smokebush in bloom that looks like smok

Rejuvenation Pruning & Smokebush

Hello Fellow Readers, It felt therapeutic to tend to rejuvenation pruning of the Smokebush and other shrubs over the weekend. Rejuvenation pruning is drastically cutting back overgrown plants to restore them to their intended shape. Or, to manage its size, which was the case of my Smo
Closeup of Purple Siberian Iris to be divided

Dividing Iris

Hello Fellow Readers, Especially now, I encourage you to find respite amongst the miracles of nature. And in our gardens, for those who like to dig in the dirt. Dividing Iris can be a perfect therapy.
A woman cutting cabbage out of garden

Vegetable Garden Basics

Hello fellow readers, It is undoubtedly is a challenging time in the history of our country. I pray the precautions and consequences of the coronavirus brings us together—each of us sharing kindness, provisions, and seeds of love with our neighbors, which brings me to the topic of sta
Happt St. Patricks Day Clover in white pots.

History of St. Patrick’s Day

Hello Fellow Readers, While shopping in a nearby grocery, I came upon a display of clover with cute little shamrock decorations on top of each pot. It occurred to me, as I admired them, I didn't know the history and significance of St. Patrick's Day. I'll bet that may be true of some
Close up of a purple dahlia

Spring Planted Bulbs

Hello Fellow Readers, Last evening, I enjoyed an outing to Papermill Theatre in Millburn, NJ, which allowed me to brain pick my design colleague and friend Marty about her favorite spring bulbs to plant in the spring. Since my snow dance didn't seem to work — not one cross-country ski
Hakonechloa-Hanoke-Grass-Mountsier-Garden-Lawn-Alternative

Lawn Alternatives Part 2

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week’s chat about Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) as a lawn alternative created quite a buzz. Beyond the buzz of our happy pollinators scurrying from bloom to bloom. It seems the algae bloom on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong has brought the devastating di