An Island Flower Bed That Looks Gorgeous from Every Angle

Add excitement to your landscape with a bed of low-maintenance perennials around a flowering tree.

Big stretches of lawn can look a little ho-hum. To break up the monotony, try this island bed garden plan that's easy to care for and designed to look beautiful, no matter from where it's viewed. A small ornamental plum tree anchors the planting, producing stunning pinkish-white double blossoms in spring, as well as pretty fall foliage. A dwarf weigela complements the floral show with its own pink spring blooms. The surrounding perennials and groundcovers add seasonal splashes of color, with an emphasis on pink and yellow, and a touch of blue from bellflowers. Three optional varieties of bulbs further enhance the pink and yellow theme. The plants in this design bloom best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade.

island garden bed
Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Easy-Care Island Bed Garden Plan

  • 1 Princess Kay plum (Prunus nigra 'Princess Kay'): Zones 3-8
  • 1 Weigela (Weigela florida 'Minuet'): Zones 4-8
  • 2 Snakeweed (Persicaria bistorta 'Superbum'): Zones 4-8
  • 3 Evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis or O. macrocarpa): Zones 4-8
  • 3 Barrenwort (Epimedium x rubrum 'Sulphureum'): Zones 4-8
  • 2 Golden columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha): Zones 3-8
  • 4 Bellflower (Campanula carpatica 'Blue Clips'): Zones 3-8
  • 5 New York aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Wood's Pink'): Zones 4-8

Optional Plants

  • 5 Daffodil (Narcissus 'Thalia'): Zones 3-8
  • 5 Darwin hybrid tulip (Tulipa 'Pink Impression'): Zones 3-8
  • 5 Daffodil (Narcissus 'Jack Snipe'): Zones 3-8

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because in certain climates, some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control, before planting, always check which species are considered invasive in your area.

Get the Free Easy-Care Island Bed Garden Plan

This design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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Tips for Planting Your New Garden

Preparation is the key to creating a garden that will offer a lifetime of pleasure. Before you start plant shopping, review all garden plan materials. Then, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have a suitable spot for this plan?

The layout diagram shows the rough dimensions for the plan. In general, you can enlarge or reduce the size of the garden by adding or eliminating plants, although the character of the garden may change if you alter the size dramatically.

Do I have the right growing conditions?

Check the plant list to see if the plan will do best in sun, part shade, or full shade. Be sure that the plants are suited to your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Do I need to amend my soil?

Most plants thrive in moist, but well-drained soil. If you have soil with lots of sand or clay, amend it liberally with lots of organic matter, such as compost. You may also want to do a soil test to see if you need to adjust the soil pH or add fertilizer before planting.

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