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

Spiderwort invading Pachysandra

Hello Fellow Readers, I received an inquiry about an invasion amongst a patch of pachysandra from Josephine (Jo) of Phillipsburg, NJ. “How do I best get rid of spider warts?” she asked. We shared a back-and-forth email chat that played out like an investigation. “I never heard of spid

Deer Resistant Butterfly Plants

Hello Fellow Readers, We spoke a few weeks back about Sarah’s mile-a-minute weedy dilemma in Hope, NJ. She proudly sent photos of the clear-out of her front foundation garden poised to be a butterfly garden. Sarah asked if there’s a list of native deer resistant butterfly plants she c

Living Green Roofs

Hello Fellow Readers, I’ve just returned from the HippoCamp writer’s conference held in downtown Lancaster, PA, hosted by Hippocampus Magazine. The genre of the magazine, named after the part of the brain (hippocampus) that manages learning, emotions, and new memories, is creative non

Mile-a-Minute Weed

Hello Fellow Readers, Sarah of Hope, NJ, was shy about providing photos in advance of our Landscape Review and Recommendation meeting. Primarily because she fell behind in her garden maintenance, something I share especially this time of year. Given the amount of rain we’ve had, the w

Outcomes of a DIYer

Hello Fellow Readers, Chris from Morristown, NJ, wrote in, “My small Shasta daisies didn’t survive the winter, so I’ll have to choose another variety.  Also, the holly is on a lifeline right now. I’m upset because it was doing well.” Chris is a hardcore DIYer who did an extraordinary

Evergreen Decline & Artillery Fungus

Hello Fellow Readers, I visited Sandy in Sparta, NJ, not long ago who was concerned about her evergreens. We planted Microbiota decussata, commonly called Siberian cypress, along a rocky embankment to help with erosion. And, to serve as a feathery evergreen groundcover; a softer solut

Birds & Bees of Zucchini Flowers

Hello Fellow Readers, I am a new owner of a big girl camera. A digital Nikon SLR. Previously I’ve relied on a point and shoot camera, “which is getting long in the tooth,” per my dear Curt. Funny saying, long in the tooth that stems from how horses’ teeth continue to grow, which indic

When to Prune Hydrangea, Deer!

Hello Fellow Readers, Deer devastation is ramping up in our neck of the woods. I woke to the swath of Bigleaf hydrangeas mowed down despite precautionary spraying using Deer Out, an organic go-to. I’ve used it for years. The devastation brought weepy eyes, which seems silly in hindsig

Lawn Alternatives Part 2

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week’s chat about Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) as a lawn alternative created quite a buzz. Beyond the buzz of our happy pollinators scurrying from bloom to bloom. It seems the algae bloom on New Jersey’s Lake Hopatcong has brought the devastating di

Clover Lawn Alternative

Hello Fellow Readers, I stumbled upon the most beautiful field of clover. Pollinators were scurrying from one dainty puff to another busily gathering nectar and pollen. Their hairy legs were combing through each petal of the pinkish-white blooms. There were mostly honeybees, but many