Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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an elongated center of a mauve coneflower with fasciation

Fascinating Anomaly of Fasciation

Hello fellow readers. I enjoy being stumped by mysterious and sometimes magnificent garden dilemmas. Dorrie of Lebanon, CT, found my previous column about Deformed Flowers on Black-eyed Susan. The culprit— insects and a pathogen named Aster Yellows Disease (link below). But I had neve
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light beige frothy slime mold on a variegated ornamental grass

Slime Mold & Artillery Fungus

Hello fellow readers, Several fungal dilemmas are showing up as of late. Bob of Piscataway, NJ, sent a photo of icky creamy, frothy stuff on Hakonechloa. Also known as Japanese Forest Grass, it’s one of my favorite shade-loving ornamental grasses. It’s the first I’ve
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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 birdseye view of purple and white petunias and American Flag for Memorial Day

Meaning of Memorial Day – A Little Hope

Hello Fellow Readers, A Little Hope Foundation funded a recent Comfort Zone Camp supporting those who lost a parent, child, or sibling to suicide. The camp, held the weekend before Memorial Day, reflects the meaning of Memorial Day. Gratitude fills my heart. History and Meaning of Mem
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A selfie of black sneakers on a lawn filled with sunny yellow dandelions

Benefits of Plantain & Dandelion “Weeds”

Hello fellow readers, Have you ever considered plantain, the flat-leaved weed with spikey seed heads that invade your lawn, a beneficial plant? It was news to me to learn that plantain is a valuable herb, though I’ve known for years that dandelions should be considered welcome l
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a sundial in a garden of gravel and river stone and sedum

Sedum & Succulent Garden

Hello fellow readers, Earlier this summer, I had the privilege of helping the Rimi’s of Washington, NJ, choose a few plants for their already beautiful gardens. What a unique property! There’s a small building, I think a springhouse in its day, charmingly serving as a back
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Litter being picked up in a white grovery bag with a smiley face next to mugwort

Weeding Mugwort – Picking up Litter

Hello fellow readers, Did you ever wonder why folks toss trash out their window littering our world? Did someone teach them that? Or is it they have no respect for our dear earth. Rather than being angry about it as I used to be, I’ve begun to pick it up during road walks. I think of
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