Plants in this combo were selected with consideration for a color theme and for delivering reliable blooms, even in a shady location. The light and bright
foliage and flower will brighten up a dark area in your garden. It's best with morning sun and afternoon shade or it would really love an open shade
situation offering filtered light all day. That said, this combo can take a fair amount of sun in Pacific Northwest gardens, though do avoid situating
it in the afternoon blast and do make sure it receives regular summer irrigation if it's in a sunny spot.
Hellebore hybrids (Zone 5 to 10) - The lenton rose blooms from mid-winter to spring in Pacific Northwest gardens and bloom pink, white, purple, yellow, and green, in a myriad of shades and in endless variations. The leathery green foliage is evergreen, but should be cut to the ground in December as the blooms begin to emerge from the ground at the plant's base so that flowers can be fully enjoyed and the spent foliage will be given a chance to renew itself. New varieties come on the market all the time so buying hellebores in flower will allow you to select those most pleasing to you.
Fuchsia magellanica 'Hawkshead' (Zone 7 to 9) is an easy to grow hardy fuchsia with pendulous blooms of sparkling white from mid-summer to late fall.
Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' (Zone 7a - 10b) This Japanese aralia has large gray-green foliage, edged with a creamy-white margin which lends a quasi-exotic air to this garden scene. This tough and durable evergreen shrub reaches about 8 feet tall and wide and is a handsome addition to the shade garden. When established, it's quite drought tolerant.
Tsuga canadensis 'Moon Frost' (Zone 4 to 7) This dwarf Canadian hemlock is an evergreen conifer with new growth that emerges white, maintains light tones on mature foliage, and may take on a pink blush in winter as well. It's slow growing, about 3" to 6" per year, so is perfect for smaller garden spaces. Protect from afternoon sun as it may burn.
This combo looks good year round. The all-season, evergreen structure is provided by the Japanese aralia and the Canadian hemlock. These two are complemented by a succession of bloom from the other members of the team.
The hellebore flowers are a welcome sight when they begin to bloom in winter and can continue for months. Bring a bit of wintertime cheer inside by floating some blooms face up in a wide bowl where you can see and enjoy the lovely range of blooms.
Later, the hardy fuchsia delivers summertime blooms with no-muss, no-fuss; no deadheading or other futzing required. An occasional shot of fertilizer might amp up its floral show, but regular top dressing of compost is probably adequate to keep it happy.
Plants grow differently garden to garden, and region to region, but we hope that the schematic above gives you a rough idea of plant spacing and relative position of each if you decide to recreate this planting combination in your garden at home. The image directly below gives you a sense of how it would look in elevation view. Notice the variety of shapes and foliage textures — the secret sauce of most successful plant pairings.