Bright Foliage and Flowers Bring Light to a Shady Garden

The medium-sized Camellia sasanqua 'Setsugekka' is the largest plant in this grouping. It can be used to divide space, provide privacy, or serve as an evergreen backdrop for this plant combination.  Position the Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey' on the shadier shade of the camellia so that it's protected from any exposure to hot afternoon sun—its foliage burns easily. This planting combination has something to offer every season. The camellia, fern, grasses, and bergenia all have evergreen foliage so they provide a year-round foliage frame for the other plants that ebb and flow with the seasons. Spring blooms on the compact bergenia make a pretty edger along the front the scene. Starting in summer and continuing until a killing frost, the hardy fuchsia provides zippy color and a treat for the hummingbirds. The golden foliage of the oakleaf hydrangea is its main attraction, though ivory panicles in summer and fab fall color add to its appeal.  In winter, fresh white blooms of the camellia add sparkle to gray days. Lush grasses and an airy fern round out the scene. If you treat the fuchsia as an annual, that broadens the range in which this could be planted. If you're willing to risk losing the to a harsh winter, then overall hardiness of this group is easily Zone 7, or a smidge colder.

Growing Conditions

Zone: 8, 9
Exposure: Filtered Sun, Part Shade
Water Needs: Regular / Even, Average

Design Considerations

Style: City and Courtyard, Northwest Eclectic, Woodland
Features: Fabulous Foliage, Four Season Appeal, Low Maintenance, Varied Foliage, Texture, and Form, Winter Interest
Focus: Curb Appeal, Mixed Border, Pleasing Seasonal Flow, Privacy and Screening, Year-round Interest
Seasons of Interest: Pleasing Seasonal Changes, Three Seasons of Interest, Year-round Interest, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Level: low
Maintenance Tasks: Deadheading, Once-a-Year Care

Plants In this Combo