1. Japanese kerria
Kerria japonica and cvs.
Size: 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide
Conditions: Full sun to full shade; moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil
Native range: Japan and China
Few shrubs are dependable no matter the sunlight conditions, but Japanese kerria works well on all sides of a house, even under tall trees. This is one of my go-to plants in partial shade, where it grows best. It is a tough, dependable bloomer with abundant golden yellow spring flowers that will sometimes rebloom. Deer don’t like it, and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It blooms on old and new wood and has bright green stems in winter. Use it as a specimen, a natural hedge, a screen, or in woodland borders. ‘Golden Guinea’ and ‘Pleniflora’ (pictured) are the best available cultivars.
2. Variegated Dalmatian iris
Iris pallida ‘Variegata’
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and 1½ to 2 feet wide
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