Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
tan beech leaves clinging to beech tree banches

Beloved Beech Trees

Hello fellow readers, One of the gems that jumped out from The Book of Hope we chatted about last week is Jane Goodall’s closest childhood friend Beech, a beech tree she asked her grandmother to pass on to her in a handwritten will. You see, I have a beloved Mr. Beech too, altho
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a snow scene with a bird house and hemlocks covered with snow

Inventorying Gardens and our Lives

Hello fellow readers, Life cycles are much like the cycles of nature and the seasons, and while our plants are dormant is a perfect time for inventorying gardens and our lives. Looking forward. Then, looking back.  It occurs to me when we are young, entering adulthood, we are in a sta
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a white dog with black ears playing with a tennis ball in snow

Merry Season of Love over Fear

Hello fellow readers, For the first time in a long time, I wrote a Christmas letter to send with greeting cards to friends from far away, sharing the joy coming from the arrival of our rescue dog Jolee. And the inspiration she gave us as we witnessed her maneuver through the fear and
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a red amaryllis in full bloom on a bay window at nighttime with white Christmas lights

Paperwhites & Amaryllis like to Party

Hello fellow readers, I adore the gift of amaryllis already in bud received on Thanksgiving. Watching the alien-looking beefy blooms open, badly bending the stem, makes me wonder if amaryllis like to party like paperwhites. No kidding. A continuous drink of alcohol keeps paperwhites f
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a mysterious unaddressed Christmas Card opened up on a wooden table with a red cardinal decoration

Mysterious Christmas Card

Hello fellow readers, May I share a story of the mysterious Christmas card that landed in our mailbox with messages addressed to all. The unaddressed envelope has a lovely illustration of a male and female cardinal. Red cardinals, the males, are often featured in Christmas decorations
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blonde woman in pink garden with a three foot tall blue spruce in a red pot

Ellie’s Living Christmas Tree

Hello fellow readers, We were late putting up a Christmas tree due to waffling of what type of tree to decorate—a cut tree, an artificial, or a living Christmas tree, perhaps. In truth, my indecisiveness is primarily because of a heavy heart. The tree is on the corner of the family ro
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pinkish-salmon colored poinsettia variety next to a red one

Poinsettia Varieties

Hello fellow readers, The other day, while shopping for groceries, I stumbled upon an array of poinsettia varieties arranged at the floral department entrance. Hopefully not annoying other shoppers, I snagged a bunch of photos to capture their beauty. Of course, there were the traditi
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a snowman with a blue CZC tag around his neck with the name Mark Frosty

What’s in Store? Lessons from Frosty

Hello fellow readers, It’s coming up on nine years of our weekly chats. Hard to imagine! One of the annual topics is what’s in store for winter in the garden of life. From weather folklore to the go-to almanacs and weather authorities, none seem to agree this year, much li
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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
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A rock with moss in the shape of a hippo.

Magnificent Moss

Magnificent moss serves as a carefree lawn alternative, is ideal for green roofs, and creates art in the garden and amongst nature. Learn about this ancient plant and other delights to be found in the dreariness of winter.
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