Garden Photo of the Day

Lovay’s garden in North Carolina

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lovay Singleton

Today’s photos are from Lovay Singleton in New Bern, North Carolina. She says, “New Bern is a wonderful city and sister city to Bern, Switzerland. I moved here with my husband and dogs 5 years ago and we purchased our home 4 years ago. It is a wonderful historical town on the “Crystal Coast”.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lovay Singleton

“When we moved here we were told that the homes were located on a previous dairy site. As a avid gardener I was totally excited. What I did not find out until later was that all of the rich loamy soil had been scraped off, sold, and replaced with sand and clay. That would be great if you were making pottery, not so great for plants.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lovay Singleton

“After the first year of complete gardening failure, I did some research and began to incorporate as much organic matter as the garden could hold. If I purchased a plant I purchased a bag of compost or mulch. It is working. I thought I would share a couple of family shots along with a before and after.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lovay Singleton

Wow, Lovay, it’s looking downright tropical! Obviously the family (2-legged and 4-legged) are loving your garden. Thanks for sharing!

**Before** Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lovay Singleton

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page! CLICK HERE!

View Comments


  1. Lucy_Bradley 05/07/2013

    What a paradise!! Love the shot with cat on the bench with the lantern an the puppy on the bridge. Compost Rules! Congratulations Lovay

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/07/2013

    Michelle is right...your garden definitely gives off a tropical vibe...kind of cute since you mentioned your town is a sister city to one in Switzerland. With as lushly as things seem to be growing, looks like you've found the way to overcome the initial handicap of crummy soil...takes extra effort but it's worth it!

  3. tractor1 05/07/2013

    It's very common for tract home developers to remove the topsoil, even with spot built homes unless one is aware and watching. The pets look very content.

  4. trashywoman62 05/07/2013

    Lovay, I love all the tropicals you have planted. Here in Illinois we have to dig the elephant ears every year if we want to save them. It looks lush and cool.

    What is the shrub in the right hand corner of the screened porch photo with the purple spikey blooms?

    Do you have trouble keeping the 4 legged "kids" out of the flowers? Bet those 2 puppies could do some damage while wrestling with each other, Lol!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. tractor1 05/07/2013

    meander1: where is everyone? And the emailed invites seemed to have ceased... are we the last of the Mohegans, is GPOD kaput?

  6. CCCDDD 05/07/2013

    Tractor, we are in our gardens. The sun is shining, the grass is finally green. Just have a few minutes while coffee perks.

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/07/2013

    tractor1, sadly, it does look as if the lack of the morning gpod email is taking a toll on the a.m. participation. I'm sure Fine Gardening will be successful in exterminating whatever cyber bugs have taken up residence recently and have loused up the system we have gotten used to. Well, at least it's during the time of year when our own gardens are coming alive.

  8. sheila_schultz 05/07/2013

    Lovay, you've done a wonderful job turning your clay into plant loving soil. The tropics have definitely hit North Carolina!

    I've missed all of you, too! I wish I could say I've been outside working in my gardens and planting my containers, but with 4 snows and frigid nights in the last few weeks... well, let's just say every day isn't gardening day in Denver, yet! The good thing is that this week we are supposed to get rain as opposed to snow... WooHoo! In the meantime, all of the succulents I overwinter are begging me to let them out, I'm hearing, 'help me, help me' in the quiet of the night!

  9. caroldt 05/07/2013

    How fun to see your posting from lovely, historic New Bern. I grew up in nearby Kinston, and loved visiting colonial Tryon Palace and gardens with the expansive view of the water. It has been many years since I have been back. It is on my to do list.

    Your garden is just beautiful. I love the informal feel and lushness. I live in Charlotte now and find I have more success with hostas in containers than with the ones planted in this piedmont red clay, no matter how much compost I add. I love the shape and look of your hosta containers.

    What is the red tubular flower in the second photo? Thanks for sharing!

  10. ncgardener 05/07/2013

    Hi there sorry I am late getting back to respond but I will try to get to all. Thanks for all of the kudo's. The purple spiky plant is called a Chaste tree and it was rumored to keep girl chaste. The fragrance is between a lavender and lilac and the bees love it so it is a great pollinator. I will admit to anyone that it is all due to compost. I brought it in by the truckloads and now I just add a layer each year. I am starting a Veterans Organic garden here in New Bern for disabled and homeless veterans and will send in photos of that once we get started. Thanks again for all of the comments!

  11. ncgardener 05/07/2013

    Sorry I did not see the question about the red plant but I think it is an Astilbe because I fell in love with those that year. The next year was lilies and I just couldn't get enough of them. Thanks from all of my friends from the North Carolina Community Garden Partnerships and the North Carolina Extension group their websites are loaded with tons of tips for Carolina clay.

  12. cwheat000 05/07/2013

    Lovay, kudos to you for not giving up and tackling your awful soil. Also, what a wonderful thing you are doing for vets. I would love to see more pictures in the future. P.S.- really cute pets!

  13. cwheat000 05/07/2013

    Sheila schultz- 4 snows? That's horrible!

  14. MichelleGervais 05/07/2013

    GOOD NEWS!! I think the email might be fixed tomorrow....look for it in your inbox at 5am eastern time. Fingers crossed!

  15. skevanston 05/07/2013

    Though I by no means intend to slight either your lush garden nor your heroic efforts to imrove the soil, my attention was particularly caught by the photo of the youngster who appears to be carefully setting out tropical sized leaves in a careful arrangement on the stones. I am a first grade teacher, and was so touched by his gentle exploration of a pocket of your garden. A wish for us all to recall the way gardens can invite moments of quiet exploration. Thanks.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products