Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a tightly branched Alberta Spruce shrub with a mutating branch reverting to a regular white spruce

Mystery of Mutating Alberta Spruce

Hello fellow readers, We chatted recently about grafted weeping cherry trees that can revert to their rootstock and shoot out straight branches, often flowering a different color. Matthew from Hope, NJ, asked if that’s what’s happening to his Alberta Spruce. “It look
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tips of pussy willow branches with puffy catkins against a bright blue sky

Easter Pussy Willows

Hello fellow readers, Outside the screened porch is a stump of what was a large pussy willow planted by the previous owners. It was in severe decline before we cut it down last fall. It typically bloomed around Easter, which is likely why we decorate with pussy willows during the holi
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a closeup of a peeper on foliage

Planting Following Nature

Hello fellow readers, Have you ever heard when the peepers are peeping, it’s time to plant peas? Or when dandelions bloom, it’s a cue to dig in potatoes? It’s called phenology –observing animal migrations and when certain insects, amphibians, and hibernating animals
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a black and white dog in a snowbank with a tennis ball in shadow

History of Groudhog Day

Hello fellow readers, As I write, the snow is falling and is likely to continue well into Groundhog Day. They say if the groundhog sees his shadow, they’ll be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, it will be an early spring. With all this snow, it may be six weeks before we see the
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red fox sleeping in lawn

Foxes in the Garden

Hello fellow readers, After a week’s transition in the garage to re-acclimate our ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ Spruce to the outside world, Ellie’s memorial Christmas tree now sits in a protected spot. She’s in front of the future vegetable garden where the rundown h
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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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Benefits of Dragonflies

Hello Fellow Readers, You’ll enjoy the story of a dragonfly visiting an extraordinary memorial tree and what they symbolize. Plus, the benefits of dragonflies and their mysterious life cycle… I partook in a happy email exchange from the caretaker of Myles memorial tree. It
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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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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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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Planting in rain, raining cats and dogs

Gardening in the Rain

Hello fellow readers, Last week, we were on deck for new plantings for clients nearby, but heavy rains were in the forecast. While a drizzle or overcast skies are ideal for planting, when it’s raining cats and dogs, it’s not. Just as walking around soggy soil is not good for existing
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