Shady Combos for Year Round Interest

By Kerry Ann Mendez

Last week I wrote about combinations for year-round color in sunny locations. Now let's check out some dazzling shade choices to create a four-season work of art.

Combine one (or more) from each category for endless color and contrast.

Evergreen Perennials

1. Coral Bells - Any cultivar would be a super choice, however I have a soft spot for purple leaved gems like 'Forever Purple'

2. Sedge such as 'Evercolor Everest' and 'Evercolor Everlime'

3. Lenten Rose, especially those with variegated/mottled leaves

Colorful Bark, Stems, Structure and/or Berries

1. Kerria (bright green winter stems)

2. Kousa and Pagoda Dogwood (interesting structure, flowers and berries)

Conifers, Evergreens or Deciduous Shrubs

1. Russion Cypress, Yew

2. Large-leaved Rhododendron, Leucothoe and Mountain Laurel

3. Bigleaf Hydrangea (macrophylla), Mountain (serrata) and Smooth (arborescens) Hydrangea

4. Boxwood, Euonymus

Estabrook's has all of the above, as well as more colorful specimens, to make your shade areas glow!

Kerry Ann Mendez
KERRY ANN MENDEZ is an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant based in southern Maine. Her latest book is The Budget-Wise Gardener. You'll now find her at Estabrook's consulting on garden design, answering your gardening questions and much more.