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Herbaceous Border

Mouse over the image to see the transformation of the Herbaceous Border.

Herbaceous Border, looking East, July 2015Eastward view of the Herbaceous Border, Irish yew, 1932 (detail)

Beatrix Farrand intended the Herbaceous Border to be a lush floral space, providing a color counterpoint to the rich beds of the Fountain Terrace. Where the Fountain Terrace was planted to warm reds and oranges, the Herbaceous Border featured blooms in cool shades of pink, lavender, and pale blue. Farrand chose the plantings not only for color, but also for peak bloom times that fell in spring and fall. This coincided with the Blisses’ occupancy of the house, and maximized the beauty of the gardens when they could appreciate it most.

Read more about the history of the Herbaceous Border and view drawings and historic photographs in the Dumbarton Oaks Garden Archives.


Exhibit Items