Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
an open bag of Twin Oaks Pine Bark Nuggets

Carpenter Ants and Termites in Mulch

Hello fellow readers, Today’s topic hits close to home. Sandy from Sparta, NJ, wrote, “Brian bought pine bark nuggets to mulch the garden, and there’s tons of huge black ants and some termites in it. What do I do?” The close-to-home part is I’m tackling c
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closeup of a beige-colored cave cricket on a white background

Do Cave Crickets Benefit the Garden?

Hello fellow readers,  Jolee came upon an American toad in the lawn to the left of a drainage swale.  I’m glad she didn’t pounce for the kill, the fate of cave crickets, though we are grateful for her finesse. Our rescue pup is indeed earning her keep. The darn things ador
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a stack of ashwood logns invested with EAB

Help Control Emerald Ash Borer Spread

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about the end of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine brought quite a buzz. Though authorities will no longer restrict ash wood movement, we can help control Emerald Ash Borer spread by doing our part. Which brings the question of Robert
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a large patch of bark fallen from an ash tree

Emerald Ash Borer a Lost Cause?

Hello fellow readers, Upon investigating the culprit of a tree largely de-barked, I learned the US Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection recently dropped the quarantine laws to prevent the further spread of Emerald Ash Borer. Could it be that EAB is a lost cause? After the
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a grey winged insect with black spots and reddish tinge of color

Spotted Lanternfly Update

Hello fellow readers, As I took photos of a landscape renovation I designed for clients in Tranquility, NJ, I came upon a Spotted Lanternfly that landed on the welcome mat by the front door. I snagged a photo of it, thinking to myself, you are not welcome at all. Since The Press (NJ/P
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two hydrangea leaves perfectly stuck together creating what looks like a tent.

Hydrangea Leaf-tiers

Hello Fellow Readers, The violence added to the pandemic is hard to comprehend. A foundation of our column, shared over eight years, is finding lessons in our gardens and nature and taking these lessons into the garden of life. And so, especially this week, we long for wisdom to sooth
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closeup of boxwood leaf with leaf miner

Boxwood Leaf Miner

Hello Fellow Readers, I think you’ll enjoy this story about Boxwood Leaf Miner also known as Hotdog Flies :^) “Our boxwoods are hissing,” my new neighbor said. Monica and her husband are first-time homeowners filled with do-it-your self-skills and stamina. “I s
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