Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Peace among the ‘Trees’

Hello Fellow Readers, The Press publishes a pictorial issue during Christmas week – few written words, simply photo highlights from their year of publication. While I enjoyed the deadline respite, I couldn’t let the week go by without posting for my followers online (Thank
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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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Thanksgiving Blessings

Hello fellow readers, I am thankful for the dormant perennials with seed heads that feed our feathered friends, who will surely leave plenty to fall to the ground and germinate come spring. I marvel over the structure and bark of statuesque trees, more visible now, as the leaves they’
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A Nutty Winter in Store?

Hello fellow readers, Nuts are abundant this fall which, in weather folklore, means a harsh winter is ahead. When walking around our Shagbark Hickory trees (Carya ovata) it feels as though I’m skating on marbles. The first time I was introduced to shagbark nuts was when a golf ball si
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Preparing for Winter Gardens

Hello fellow readers, It’s the time of year for tending to leaves and tidying our gardens for a long winters rest. The truth is though, our gardens don’t rest. The fallen leaves and decaying plant material are providing nourishment for next year’s growth by decomposing and putting nut
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Worrisome Needle Drop

Hello fellow readers, Andrea of Morristown NJ asked what’s going on with her white pines. Seeing evergreens drop needles often triggers concern. It’s kind of like an abundance of hairs in your shower drain. Evergreen foliage, despite their name, does not live forever. As new growth em
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Fungi Impacted Leaves in the Garden

Hello fellow readers, This growing season provided a perfect environment for foliar disease. Earlier in the summer Hector from Morristown, NJ sent a photo of his Mom’s maple tree dotted with black spots. “All the leaves seem to have the cooties.” I sent the photo off to my favorite as
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Lackluster Fall Color

Hello fellow readers, The ideal conditions for stunning fall color are a moist growing season (check – we had that) followed by a dry fall (yup – we’ve had that too) with sunny, warm days and cool nights (nope – didn’t happen). After a wet summer, most predicted we’d