Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Leaf Mold – Better than Mulch

Hello fellow readers, Is fall a good time to mulch, asked John of Washington NJ? I think so, especially because when spring arrives there’s much to do in the garden and for me, the madness of the season speedily unfolds. This spring, like most springs, mulching didn’t happen despite m
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More than Mums

Hello fellow readers, Mums and ornamental cabbage have become the iconic welcome to the glories of fall, though there are other less common fall annuals gaining popularity. Lynda of East Stroudsburg PA asked what the bright pink caterpillar-like blooms that sit atop spiky foliage are?
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Rainy Summer’s Impact on Fall color

Hello fellow readers, On September 22nd, the first day of fall, our weather seemed to turn a switch and leaves began to drop. It’s no surprise the early leaf changers and droppers, customarily maples, are showing wounds from the growing season endured. I stumbled upon one such leaf wh
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Raining Cats and Dogs

Hello fellow readers, Last week we were on deck for a new planting, but heavy rains were forecast. While a light 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 plants, planting in t
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Remember, Learn, Grow & Love

Hello fellow readers, Talk about a shift! The chill, albeit wet and soggy, feels like back to school. For me too, as I registered for a fiction workshop at Warren County Community College. It felt nostalgic going back to school; familiar butterflies and all. There’s a process of
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September Roadside Beauties

Hello fellow readers, “Is there such a thing as wild hydrangea?” asked Tammy of Marshalls Creek PA. There is. Hydrangea arborescens is commonly known as Smooth Hydrangea or Wild hydrangea and its native in the woodlands of the northeast, but it blooms in the spring. What Tammy is noti
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Origin of the Dog Days

Hello fellow readers, The dog days of summer are soon to end. No longer will we be sweating like a pig. These old sayings came up as Curt and I were walking Miss Ellie during these last hazy lazy days of summer and we wondered their origin. After all, what do dogs have to do with summ

She’s a Beautyberry

Hello fellow readers, It’s a marvel how life brings people together. It’s one of the joys gained from the work I do. Especially when I rub shoulders with fellow gardeners, many far more accomplished than I in nurturing plants. Such is the case of Jacquie of Byram NJ who reached out fo
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Doggone Dogwood Disease

Hello fellow readers, Anthracnose (Ann-thrack-nose, my phonetics) is the most talked about and the most serious amongst the doggone dogwood dilemmas. Though powdery mildew, leaf and flower blight spot, and crown canker rank high. Never mind the dogwood borer which can run amuck. Turns
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Fair Talk 2018

Hello fellow readers, It’s fair time! Farm animals, 4-H exhibits, rides, fun food, and, in the case of the NJ State Fair, garden displays and speakers of which I am one. This Saturday, August 4th at 1 PM, I’ve been asked to speak about Garden Dilemmas. It will be held in the bea