Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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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Native-Rhododendron-Leaves

Native Rhododendrons

It felt adventurous to walk a new route enjoying the beauty of a landscape not yet seen. Along Sandhill Road in Blairstown NJ, there’s a steep hill carpeted with golden-brown leaves and a thick colony of native rhododendron standing twelve feet tall. The deciduous trees above, naked o
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Cut Christmas tree dusted with snow on the side of the road.

Repurposing Christmas Trees

When I see a Christmas tree tossed curbside right after New Year's Day, my heart sinks. It's not even the Twelfth Day of Christmas yet - January 6th is also known as Little Christmas. Find out why, as well as how to extend the joy of your Christmas Tree into the summer.
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Holly-on-Angel

Legend of Holly & Christmas Trees

Hello Fellow Readers, In search of a special Christmas card, I found one at our local tractor supply. The cover intrigued me. “The Legend of the Christmas Tree,” it said, with an artist rendering of a man on a horse pulling an evergreen towards a log cabin nestled in the woods. The Le
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Happy-Roadside-Finds

Decorating with Leave Behinds

Hello Fellow Readers, Old man winter sure arrived early with an ice storm followed by snow the weekend after Thanksgiving. The morning after, the trees glistened in the sunshine as if they were glass. Below, the sun cast long shadows of trees on the pristine frosting of white. Sadly,
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