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

Cold & Snow Impact on Pests

Hello fellow readers, Mr. Wooly Bear Caterpillar sure predicted this winter spot-on!  Jane from Bangor asked if our single digits and snow cover will help reduce bugs.  Wouldn’t that be a well-deserved outcome after all of this brrrrr!   They say invasive insects may be more susceptib

Gardening with our Dogs Part 2

Hello fellow readers, Doggone diggers are only part of the challenge of gardening when you have canine kids. The risk of trampling while playing, noshing while bored, yellow lawn spots or leg lifting on branches are other doggie considerations. You may recall Ed’s teenage pup Du

Gardening with Dogs

Hello fellow readers, We have a few garden diggers out there despite the freezing temps!  A few “teenage” puppies that is – Keswick of Stillwater and Dulcie of Basking Ridge to be specific. Regal names these digger dogs have! According to the Humane Society, training not to dig

Verticle Gardening Part 2

Hello fellow readers, Several of you like the idea of standing tall while picking vegetables and are intrigued by the decorative possibilities of vertical gardens.  Ted from Allamuchy uses a cattle panel arched in half so he can walk under it and secures each corner with T-posts – Wal

Bird Feeding Tips

Hello fellow readers, Last week we spoke about sunflower seed being one of the best seed to attract the widest varieties of birds.  Rachel from Fredon asked which kind is best.  There are 2 types; black oil seeds with easy to open thin shells most desired by seed-eating birds and stri

Winter is for the Birds

Hello fellow readers, Winter weather can be for the birds.  Not for those of us with a passion to play in the snow mind you, but winter brings the desire to feed and watch the antics of backyard birds.  Emma and Josh of Mt. Bethel asked if there is a certain seed they should buy.  The

In memory of Brother Bill

My beloved Brother Bill (“Brobber Bill”) passed away on December 21st. I was blessed to be able to travel to Florida to be by his side his last weeks.  Several overnights in the hospital and hospice and heartfelt pillow talks will be forever cherished as will he – a brave,

Christmas Cactus

Hello fellow readers, Not a single write-in this week but I won’t take it personally.  No doubt everyone is up to their eyeballs in the fa la la la la of the holidays. So if I may ask my own question about the timing of my 15-year old Christmas cactus which has bloomed well before Tha

Live Christmas Trees

Hello fellow readers, Most of you have decked the halls but I am late this year and wrestle whether to dig out the artificial standby or go for a much preferred real tree. I bought my standby many years ago to use the times I visited the folks in Florida over Christmas. Some travel ye

Encouraging Self-Seeding

Hello fellow readers, Since my recent admission several of you have fessed up that you have yet to cut back your perennials.  Glad I am not the only one!  And it is true that leaving seed heads on your dormant perennials over winter will encourage many of your plants to spread.  John