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Ashmun’s island beds were inspired by Alan Bloom’s famous plantings at Bressingham Gardens. (Photo by Doug Barragar)

Garden writer Barbara Ashmun transformed her back garden by gradually replacing boring lawn with spectacular island beds full of summer- and fall-blooming perennials.

However, she faced some interesting design challenges as she created the planting beds—such as how to “hide” flowers as they inevitably faded during the season, and how to deal with “messy” plants flopping over the edges onto the grass. All of these she tackled head on, making valuable discoveries and developing solutions.

Read all about her island bed adventures in the latest issue of the Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin.