Garden Photo of the Day

Mary’s SWOOP garden in New Jersey

Today’s photos are from Mary McDermott. She says, “Here is one of my many gardens in Mays Landing, New Jersey (South Jersey). This is the back yard garden, “The Swoop.” The photo was taken two weeks ago.

The Swoop was begun in April, 2012, and 95% of the original plants I propagated from cuttings or divisions. There’s a repeating pattern of perennials throughout the 200-foot long garden, supplemented with annuals as the whim strikes me. When we moved to this house in the spring of 2011, the back yard was a blank slate – a bare rectangle of lawn. The Swoop blooms from the earliest daffodils through mums and asters in the fall, and is the most delightful and whimsical garden I’ve ever had.

In July, my yard was featured in a local garden club tour, and The Swoop was the centerpiece – in one photo you’ll see a local artist working plein air capturing the curves of The Swoop.”

So, so awesome, Mary! This garden is so much FUN! You must show us more areas of your garden. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Keep sending in photos of your gardens, everyone!

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/08/2014

    You are a true visionary, Mary...your Swoop concept is an awesome big deal! I tend to be an incremental type gardener with one thing evolving out of another if you know what I mean. However, to take that blank slate of flat lawn and plan and execute so boldly...well...WOW...just WOW! It's thrilling and delightful...sincerest congrats.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Thanks so much -- that is very sweet!

  2. phyllisdiazcerys 08/08/2014

    What a great way to take a plain space and create beauty.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/08/2014

    How fun is that?!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  4. NCYarden 08/08/2014

    Sweet. A very unique approach to a garden installation. And sooooooooooo much better than that blank dull lawn. Great job.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Anything is better than just lawn. Thanks!!

  5. JuleMG 08/08/2014

    I just love this design, genius !

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  6. lilyfan 08/08/2014

    this is one of the most amazing transformations I have seen...ingenious!

  7. wittyone 08/08/2014

    Wow, talk about thinking outside the box! Such a perfect inside shape for the outside shape of your lot.

  8. greengenes 08/08/2014

    Its a great design, Mary for having a tall house looking down on your yard! It sure is fun!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  9. user-6807720 08/08/2014

    Beautiful! It's so nice when someone just goes and has fun with a garden in a way that's unexpected.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  10. sheila_schultz 08/08/2014

    All it took was a crazy idea... and the Swoop was born! Very cool!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      We like crazy. And whimsy.

  11. christianesterges 08/08/2014

    Unique !

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  12. GrannyMay 08/08/2014

    You know it works when it brings a huge smile to your face! Well done!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Glad to hear it brought a smile. Does for me, too, every day.

  13. Cenepk10 08/08/2014

    I'm digging the swoop !!!! Clever and a great multi-solution for division of the property and creates automatic paths... I Love It

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  14. schatzi 08/08/2014

    Gorgeous! I couldn't agree more with the rest of the group's comments. Original, creative and very beautiful.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Thanks a lot!

  15. user-7007129 08/08/2014

    What a wonderful garden!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  16. Meelianthus 08/08/2014

    Your creativity is wonderful Mary. So many beautiful plantings and what fun to select them all and watch your "swoop" develop into something so grand.

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Thanks for the kind words. I'm sure it will keep developing each year, which will be fun to see.

  17. terieLR 08/08/2014

    Yay for twirls and swoops! Easy on the eye... and mower. One of your many gardens? Please share some more of your genius!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014


  18. lesliefarrelldelongpre 08/08/2014

    I just loved the pictures of before and after!

    1. cloverfields1 08/09/2014

      Thanks! Even I was surprised by the before picture. I didn't remember it being quite that stark, but sure enough...

  19. user-7007104 08/09/2014

    I love it!!!!!!

  20. carolineyoungwilliams 11/19/2020

    Very creative Mary. Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden.

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