Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries

Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries

Join columnist and garden designer Mary Stone in sharing dilemmas, delights, & discoveries in the garden of life.

Episodes

August 14, 2022 8 min

Join me and a loud chorus of cicadas during an extremely dry heat wave, leading to a story about the Origin of the Dog Days of Summer & Sweating like a Pig that may surprise you. 

 But before we dig into why it's called the Dog Days, the episode starts with an update about an adored beech tree that dropped an enormous limb. (You may recall we spoke about Beloved Mr. Beach in Episode 45.) A sad day, but like all of us, trees ...

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An invitation to a pool party inspires gathering flowers from the garden to bring to the hosts. One of the lovelies, Mountain Mint, reminds me of a walk in the meadow with my birder buddy and naturalist I look forward to sharing with you. 

Plus, we chat about other magnificent meadow plants and wrap up with a tale of wildlife visitors; Dennis Briede has a unique way of re-counting. 

Link to Related Stories:

Gift of Meadows & Mount...

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In this episode, we share stories of garden blessings with Rosemary DeTrolio while visiting her garden in Hope, NJ—a serene plot of vegetables and flowers planted by an extraordinary lady whose calling is to help others grow their spirit.

We wrap up the visit with Rosemary's beautiful story of garden blessings hidden in a sugar baby watermelon.

Link to Related Stories:

Sharing Garden Blessings with Rosemary

Birds & the Bees of ...

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In this episode, you'll giggle over the story of Jolee's big dig, inspiring a chat about chipmunk remedies. 

Then comes an Iroquois legend of a bear and a chipmunk leading to why chipmunks sport three stripes – a lesson to children about bullying. Imagine if there weren't any scars or stripes. Perhaps it's a lesson adults can learn too.

Link to Related Stories:

Chipmunk Remedies & Legends
The Legend of Marigolds 

Lin...

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In this episode, we talk about the lifecycle of the invasive yet beautiful Japanese Beetles and safe remedies to control them -- some may not be for the queasy at heart, but they are sure to bring a laugh. (Hint- you may be more cautious about drinking a margarita :^)

We then chat about how Japanese Beetles made their way here during the 1916 World's Fair. And a reflection of the powerful lyrics of It's a Small World (after ...

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The episode starts with a bounceback to last week’s news of a robins nest in my Doulbefile Viburnum, leading to the saga of a Red-Shouldered Hawk stalking the nest. 

We chat about the call and behavior of the magnificent bird, learning that Red-Shouldered Hawks are Messengers of Vision. The story ends with outcomes of Hope. 

Link to Related Stories:

Visions of the Red-Shouldered Hawk

 Blue Jays Bad Reputation  

 Doublefile Viburnum Ange...

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This episode starts with the news of a robins nest in my Doulbefile Viburnum, a frequented nesting spot. Robins represent renewal leading to a story about a Magical Trail of Renewal—a trail atop Camelback Ski Mountian I call the Top of the World. 

You'll walk with me and hear about nature's glorious landscape, a personal journey of recovery, and the four paws that have shared the path. 

We wrap up with a reflection on Indepen...

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A walk on the road with Jolee leads to a story of a neighbor tackling Japanese Knotweed, known to be invasive, though beautiful and beneficial to pollinators. We chat about how beekeepers make good use of Knotweed.

Afterward, Jolee rests in a patch of Crown Vetch. Farmers once used it as a cover crop, and municipalities and homeowners planted Crown Vetch to secure slopes. Now it's considered invasive in many places, though polli...

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While walking Jolee, I came upon a flower of a Tuliptree attached to a cluster of leaves. The culprit —squirrels, as we spoke about in Episode 15 – Litter of Tree Tips. Relishing the flower inspires a story of two treasured Tuliptrees, a Momma Tuliptree and a volunteer Baby  —  a story of resilience.  

 Links to Related Columns:

Treasured Tuliptrees

Litter of Tree Tips 

Spruce Disease Dilemmas 

More about the benefits of Tuliptrees on t...

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I adore helping clients design their gardens, procure plants, and place them. Then comes coaching on watering their new plant babies. This week's episode features Kathy & Sean and their charming pup Hank who supervised the installation :^)  And how-to tips on Watering your New Plant Babies. 

And, a tidbit on Zero-scaping, the trendy phonetic spelling of xeriscaping; also known as drought-tolerant or smart-scaping.

Links to Re...

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In this episode, we share reflections from the Blairstown Memorial Parade. While we honor veterans who gave their lives protecting our safety and freedom, there is also a deep sadness over the physical and mental repercussions many veterans of war endure.

We also talk about poppies, the official flower of the American Legion, and National Poppy Day, the day before Memorial Day. The significance of poppies adds to the honor and beaut...

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We recently hiked Blue Mountain Lake, part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, filled with flora and reflections of what once was and what may come if redesignated as a national park. 

There's irony in the glorious beauty amid the sadness of homes lost due to the Tocks Island Dam debacle in the 1950s. 

And there's a lesson; we merely borrow the land on which we live. And hopefully, take respectful care of it w...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

 We begin this episode walking together and visiting the brook on which I live for a bit of reflection – and drop a leaf in the water sharing the Lesson of the Leaf my brother Bill left behind. 

 Then we talk about the mystery of mutating Alberta Spruce, how it magically came to be, and how it can revert to its origin. 

 While ...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

New rules about single-use plastic and paper bags put me into a tizzy; I'm embarrassed to confess. 

Especially since brown bags are as recyclable as cardboard boxes- used excessively in online shopping. Plus, plastic bags are recyclable too and made into benches and composite decks.  

 But sadly, not everyone or every town ...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

 It's fascinating to learn Why Weeping Cherry Weep and why sometimes they revert to straight stems with different color flowers, thanks to the wisdom shared by Ben Jansen of E. P. Jansen Nursery and Nancy Buley of J Frank Schmidt and Sons.

Link to Related Column: Reverting Weeping Cherry

About E. P. Jansen Nursery and J Fra...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

Perennials are emerging, inviting us to divide them to share with others, reminding me of a column long ago worthy of a refresher about Dividing Perennials. 

 Then I share the story of a family of foxes Jolee came upon the weekend of Comfort Zone Camp, a grief camp for kids, where they learn they are not alone in the world. Re...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

Forsythia is one of the first shrubs to bloom, welcoming spring. We chat about maintaining its natural fountain shape rather than sporting funky haircuts. 

And how, to my surprise, a hedgerow of golden forsythia at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice changed my view of forsythia groomed into a hedge. 

Then we talk about orga...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

Last week's chat about Plants Between Nooks & Crannies led to other suggestions from you, kind listeners, including Hens and Chicks, that we share in this episode. 

Then we talk about a favorite early spring plant: Pussy Willows and the Legends about Pussy Willows you'll enjoy. 

Plus, a story about Gloria's boun...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

Last week's talk about cleaning paths and patios without harming plants raises the question of favorite Plants between Nooks and Crannies.

In this episode, we share my favs that found their way on their own and how you can encourage volunteers too. And other plants ideal for nooks and crannies, some safe for barefooted tra...

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Welcome to our chat from the screen porch about garden and nature stories that help heal and grow our lives.

Last week's chat about Leaving Lichen and Moss Be brought a rally of like-minded folks (yay). But there can be safety concerns of slippage on walks and patios. 

This episode talks about ways to clean walkways and patios while preserving the plants in the nooks and crannies. And other Early Spring Gardening Tips, including ...

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