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

Thanksgiving Blessings

Beautiful Bark

Beautiful Bark

Hello fellow readers,

I am thankful for the dormant perennials with seed heads awaiting their role to fall to the ground and germinate which makes me feel less guilty that I have yet to cut them back.  I appreciate the structure and bark of our beautiful trees more visible now and the leaves they dropped that will decompose and provide nourishment.  I welcome the evergreens that can be adorned with twinkly lights and branches of hollies and other broadleaf evergreens that can be gathered to garnish our window boxes, outdoor pots and mantels.   Plus the dry hydrangea flowers, stems of butterfly bush, barberry branches with berries and other pleasing garden “leave behinds” to add to the seasonal display.  I am thankful for the pumpkins to decorate that can be made into yummy pie or soup and toasted seeds for a salty snack.

It’s joyful to watch the creatures scurrying around, hording nuts in preparation for the winter months ahead. And the flocks of turkeys that seem to congregate in masses this time of year perhaps taunting the fact that they will not be on the dinner table.  Plus I appreciate when deer in their fall feeding frenzy stay clear of the gardens with the aid of Deer Out, a natural pleasant smelling deer spray, and Miss Ellie who loves the chase.

It is true I enjoy the winter break from pulling weeds, deadheading and other garden chores and look forward to dreaming and planning for the growing season ahead. We have so much to talk about while our plants are sleeping! This brings me to the gratitude I have to The Press for inviting our exchange of questions and advice which we began 80 weekly columns ago. Your participation and words of encouragement are heartwarming and proof of the sense of community our newspaper nurtures. Thanks to all of you!

Wishing you a joyful time with family and friends, warm memories of those no longer with us, healing love for those working through illness and recovery.   Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings to all!

Garden dilemmas?


Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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