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

Volunteers tackle Mugwort

Blairstown NJ Village Green, Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone

Hello fellow readers,

I had the privilege of digging in with the North Warren Garden Club who held their monthly meeting in the new park behind Agway in Blairstown next to where the seasonal Farmers’ Market is hosted. You may recall I met with the club almost two years ago to talk about the Landscape Design Process and the dream of a community park on the vacant lot where the old Community Center once stood became our design project. Thanks to the support of our town officials and resident advocates, the park unofficially named the Pocket Park became a reality and has quickly become a favorite toss-a-ball and respite spot for kids and grownups alike.

Our task was to tidy up (yup weed) and plant fill-in perennials offered up by JB’s Landscaping who was chosen to install the park last fall. Patti Doell, President of the North Warren Garden Club and owner of Little Big Farm, gathered 12 members to dig in the 50 plants; doing so lickety-split I might add. Impressive!  Also impressive are other gardens we enjoy that the club voluntarily plants and tends to such as the triangle garden in front of the municipal building and the barrels in town decorated seasonally. In addition, the club offers an annual scholarship to a student going into the field of agriculture or horticulture.

Blairstown NJ Village Green, Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone, Gardening Tips

Blairstown Village Green

One of the fun parts of being around fellow dig in the dirt enthusiasts is sharing ideas and successes. Such as the 1-gallon vinegar, 2 cups Epsom salt, 1/4 cup dish soap weed killer potion a few members swear by; although none thought it would be the cure-all for the Mugwort (Artemesia vulgari) that look like wild chrysanthemum taking hold there. Their aggressive underground stems called rhizomes send out roots and shoots that travel two feet below the surface making it a miserable invader to squelch. Some say cutting Mugwort repeatedly to the ground every few weeks is an effective way to gain control. Others say removing the top growth stimulates rhizome production increasing the number of shoots. A frustrating dilemma! I say throw the homemade weed killer, whack at it, weed yourself silly and hope for the best. Happily after our labor of love came delicious snacks and a beautiful park to enjoy by 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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