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

Impulses Satisfied by Seed Shopping

Hello Fellow Readers, “Seems timely,” wrote Anita from Blairstown NJ in an email this morning with a Rose is Rose cartoon (a syndicated comic strip by Pat Brady.) It starts out with a woman decked in garden cloths and wide-brimmed hat adorned with a pink bow. She’s on her knees up to
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Partridge Berry

Hello Fellow Readers, What a rainy start we’ve had for the new year. Or, should I say continuum of the rainy growing season. It’s worrisome really; our ground is so saturated. And yes, I miss the snow. Though please freeze the ground, Mother Nature, before bringing it on for fea
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Christmas Reflections from Texas

Hello Fellow Readers, One of the greatest gifts of Christmas is spending time with loved ones. I’ve just returned from visiting lifelong friends that live outside of Austin. First stop was Round Top Texas where Dorothy from my college days lives. She’s an artist with a gallery r
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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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Fair Talk 2018

Hello fellow readers, It’s fair time! Farm animals, 4-H exhibits, rides, fun food, and, in the case of the NJ State Fair, garden displays and speakers of which I am one. This Saturday, August 4th at 1 PM, I’ve been asked to speak about Garden Dilemmas. It will be held in the bea
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Ladybugs: a Lucky Garden Gift

Hello fellow readers, I was chatting with Linda, my college roommate in southern California, who mentioned her friend Lore’s home is being swarmed by ladybugs. Many of us think of ladybugs as good luck which is said to have stemmed from farmers long ago, who prayed to the Virgin Mary
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Readying for Organic Veggies

Hello fellow readers, Sara from Oxford NJ asked how to prepare a plot in her backyard for organic vegetable gardening come spring. She suspects the previous owners used chemicals as when they moved in, the lawn “looked like a golf course.” Kudos Sara. It’s smart to consider the previo
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Pallet Garden & AC Screen

Hello fellow readers, What a whirlwind trip venturing to Tennessee to attend my nephews wedding. Ellie in tow, brother Rick suggested a great walking spot in Knoxville called Lakeshore Park, with spectacular views of the Tennessee River and Great Smoky Mountains. What a glorious day!
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Proper Planting Hillside

Hello Fellow Readers, In the Spring of 2011 my sister Dot, who lives in Chesterfield Virginia, planted a Red maple (Acer rubrum) in the tiered garden she and her hubby built to manage the slope in their back yard. At the time our dear Mom had just moved in and I recall her reminiscenc
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Dirty Dilemma

Hello Fellow Readers, A few weeks ago, we spoke about how to evict ants from a natural stone patio without spoiling the charming moss in the joints. The topic brought to mind how to the clean the stone itself; one of my nagging dilemmas. The presence of moss often goes hand and hand w