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

Hello fellow readers, I’m back from the Woody Plant Conference held at Scott Arboretum Swarthmore College PA, always a treat. While not nearly as knowledgeable as the scientists and arborists in attendance, I have a love affair with trees; especially those that have lived far longer t
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Tickle and Rub Mycorrhizae

Hello fellow readers, “Be sure you tickle the roots,” I coach new gardeners after carefully removing a plant from its pot. Using my fingers, or an edge of a trowel, I demonstrate how to loosen the roots to encourage them to spread. Sometimes a utility knife comes into play if a plant
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Front Lawn Alternative

Hello fellow readers, When I met Stephanie of Denville NJ four years ago, she wished to forgo a front lawn and plant a garden she could stroll through and enjoy viewing from the inside looking out. An ambitious undertaking for most, but I quickly learned Stephanie didn’t think so. I d
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Independence Day on the Top of the World

Hello fellow readers, Last Sunday we visited a favored hiking spot, Big Pocono State Park, which sits atop Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, PA. I’ve coined it the Top of the World where you can see eastern Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey and New York. More than that,
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Phil’s Squirrel Dilemma

Hello fellow readers, Last year a den of fox provided a reprieve of my chipmunk dilemma. They’re back! Leaving piles of dirt around the garden pots. But my dilemma pales in comparison to Phil’s in Whitehall PA, worthy of a standup comedy routine. In early spring Phil asked “how to dis
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Extraordinary Gardeners, Extraordinary Plants

Hello fellow readers, You may recall last year I missed the annual opportunity for annuals, then scrambled to doll up my empty pots with perennials late in the season. While I loved when their little faces emerged in the garage where they overwintered, and they are doing beautifully,
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Planning an Alpine Garden

Hello fellow readers, One of the joys of doing what I do as a Landscape Designer is working with special folks with special properties, many with garden dilemmas that I see as opportunities. Like James of Sparta NJ who lives on a mound of massive moss rocks. Literally, his foundation
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“Mary-technique” of Poison Ivy Removal

Hello fellow readers, What’s with all the poison ivy? I asked myself as I employed the “Mary-technique” of removal using a plastic grocery bag; a technique most dog owners will find familiar, except perhaps for the protective gear. With long sleeves, long pants, and garden gloves enha
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The Gifts of Nature

Hello fellow readers, At last, the internet and cell service are restored after a week without due to the Wizard of Oz-like storm coupled with my computer fixer-upper (dear Curt) away on business. There are benefits to being unplugged. It heightens the sounds in nature, the pleasure o
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Choosing Annuals

Hello Fellow Readers, (Excuse the late posting of this week’s column. I’ve been hobbling along without internet since last Tuesday’s Wizard of Oz storm. Humbling!) We have the green light for annuals based on the wisdom to wait until after the last frost date, typica