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Regional Picks: Color in the Shade – Northwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 147



Heart-leaved disanthus (Disanthus cercidifolius)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Size: 5 to 7 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide

Conditions: Partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

Fall color isn’t expected in the dim corners of the garden, but with heart-leaved disanthus, you will get a lovely surprise. In early fall, the blue-green leaves turn a deep burgundy, eventually lightening to orange and yellow; by late fall, these leaves become a brilliant red. Disanthus flowers are inconspicuous, but to give the shrub more spring interest, plant a clematis (Clematis spp. and cvs., Zones 4–11) at its base, and let it shimmy up the branches.


‘Blue Metallic Lady’ hellebore (Helleborus hybridus ‘Blue Metallic Lady’)

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 12 to 16 inches tall and 14 to 24 inches wide

Conditions: Partial shade; moist,well-drained soil

The ‘Lady’ series of hellebores is among the earliest to bloom, often before the start of December. ‘Blue Metallic Lady’ has shimmery, deep…

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