Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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
native beneficial ladybug on a hand

Beneficial Ladybugs

Hello Fellow Readers, Sometimes, I think I should’ve been a bug expert given all the garden dilemmas from insects that folks ask about. Fortunately, there are also beneficial bugs, such as the much-loved ladybugs. Aphid remedies before introducing beneficial ladybugs For sure ma
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.
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
Marigolds-Races-Farm-Blairstown-NJ

The Legend of Marigolds

Hello Fellow Readers, I recently shopped for annuals for Ron of Stillwater NJ who wished for bright hues. Previously he planted marigolds. I haven’t used them for years, which likely has to do with a childhood memory of my first garden – primarily marigolds grown from seed. “Mar
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Removing Moss Madness

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week I received a text from Chris of Blairstown, “Look what we’re doing today, getting the moss off the retaining wall.” He shared pictures to boot. “Nooooo,” I wrote back with the big-eyed emoji, then added a wink and a smile. You see Chris is my dear Curt’
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September Roadside Beauties

Hello fellow readers, “Is there such a thing as wild hydrangea?” asked Tammy of Marshalls Creek PA. There is. Hydrangea arborescens is commonly known as Smooth Hydrangea or Wild hydrangea and its native in the woodlands of the northeast, but it blooms in the spring. What Tammy is noti
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Origin of the Dog Days

Hello fellow readers, The dog days of summer are soon to end. No longer will we be sweating like a pig. These old sayings came up as Curt and I were walking Miss Ellie during these last hazy lazy days of summer and we wondered their origin. After all, what do dogs have to do with summ
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Fair Talk Tidbits

Hello fellow readers, Thanks to those who braved the heat magnification of the glass conservatory during our pow-wow of garden dilemmas at the NJ State Fair. As always, critters were a hot topic. Lorraine of Sparta NJ, a Flower Show volunteer, master gardener, and friend who invited m
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Getting Gardens Vacation-ready

Hello fellow readers, The week of July 4th ignites the summer vacation season. With the plentiful rains so far this summer, plants will likely be more vulnerable to heat stress once the heat and dryness kick in.  So, before you head off to de-stress, here are a few tips to help your p