Garden Photo of the Day

Clare’s New Jersey Garden

Sharing a glorious spring

bright and light pink phlox

My name is Clare Oliva, and I live and garden in northern New Jersey. Photos of my garden have previously been featured on Garden Photo of the Day (Clare’s Garden in New Jersey Day 1 of 2). Since the spring garden was glorious this year, I thought I would share some pictures.

garden path next to trees and shrubsThis is one of my favorite views of the garden—the side garden in early spring (mid April). The big swath of forsythia (Forsythia spp., Zones 3–8) bushes at the end of the path, the tulips starting to bloom, and the different textures and shades of green are a welcome sight after a long cold winter.

Brightly colored tulipsBrightly colored tulips are a feast for the eyes.

red yellow and purple tulipsThe brilliantly colored petals of tulips are one of the iconic images of spring.

looking at garden paths from aboveLooking down from the deck, this view shows the hedges, lawns, and paths that define the different spaces in this garden.

creeping phlox in mulched garden bedsColorful creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera, Zones 3–8) and the blue sky make a lovely scene.

terraced garden bedsThe creeping phlox really steals the show in early May. It is planted on the edges of a terrace and looks great hanging over the stone walls.

creeping phlox along a garden pathThe creeping phlox is in full flower, with different varieties planted in sections to create big blocks of brilliant color.

bright and light pink phloxHere the phlox is pulling out all the stops, showing off in nearly every shade of pink possible.

japanese maple in the middle of a spring gardenA look beyond the Japanese maple ‘Tamukeyama’ (Acer palmatum ‘Tamukeyama’, Zones 5–9) shows the blooms of red azaleas just starting to open.


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View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 06/04/2021

    Wow! Beautiful gardens!

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      Thank you, PattyLouise!

  2. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

    Thank you, PattyLouise!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/04/2021

    Wow, that phlox is out of this world!

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      Thanks! Each color started out with only 3 small plants about 3 or 4 years ago. I think the phlox really like the good drainage on those terraces (along with full sun).

  4. pam_clemmons 06/04/2021

    Oh wow you’ve created your very own botanical garden! Bravo!

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      Thank you, Pam. My husband and I have been working on this garden since 2005. As with all gardens, it continues to be a work in progress!

  5. btucker9675 06/04/2021

    Clare - your beautiful garden has made me yearn for my gardens in Franklin Lakes, NJ where I gardened for 20 years before my husband and I lost our jobs and had to sell our home and move. I cried as we drove away. NJ is a wonderful place to plant - it's not called the Garden State for nothing! Thanks for sharing your lovely place.

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      Thank you for that feedback! We're in Upper Saddle River, which is not too far from Franklin Lakes. Agreed regarding New Jersey being a wonderful state for gardening. So sorry you had to leave your beautiful garden and I hope you were able to start a new garden at your new home.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/04/2021

    Not sure if the gorgeous cherry tree in one of the pics on this link is still there, but it would still be a good look for those who love them.

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      We still have that beautiful cherry tree, but, unfortunately, it's starting to decline. With the help of a local arborist, we've been keeping it going but are trying to brace ourselves for its eventual loss. So glad we have pictures from its prime to remember it by!

  7. User avater
    simplesue 06/04/2021

    Oh wow, my favorite view of your garden is "Looking down from the deck" love those urns and the cat statues- so cool.
    Your garden is spectacular!

    1. ClareRocky 06/04/2021

      Thank you, Sue. You're very observant! We love cats and have cat statues all around the garden.

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