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9 Great Shrubs for Shade

When full sun isn’t an option, use these hardworking plants to add color, fragrance, and year-round structure

Fine Gardening - Issue 188

If you take a dim view of the shady spots in your garden, it may be because you haven’t found the right plants to make those areas shine. A few well-chosen shrubs can transform a shadowy area into a showcase, and there are more choices available than you might imagine. On the following pages are some of my favorite shade-loving shrubs. Whether you are looking for a shrub with beautiful blooms, fascinating foliage, or architectural appeal, there should be something here to suit your needs.

Name: Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Lipstick’
Zones: 6–8
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moderately moist, well-drained soil
Native Range: Woodlands of Japan

‘Lipstick’ redvein enkianthus, one of my favorite plants for shade, is unequaled for its brilliant red fall color. It has an upright habit, reaching 6 feet tall at maturity. In early spring its naked stems are covered in pendant clusters of elegant, white, bell-shape…

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