Answer: The woody perennial bed you describe sounds delightful! I'd plant something with a speckled leaf or a cream and white variegated leaf to lighten up the background. Euonymus japonica 'Matanzaki' has deep green leaves edged in creamy white. This plant produces small white flowers, followed by clusters of bright red berries. Euonymus japonica 'Silver Knight' has mostly cream colored leaves with bright green centers. Both plants tolerate average soil and shady conditions. Pieris japonica is a wonderful all-season plant. It's evergreen and the new foliage starts out white, changes to red and then matures to green. It produces bell-shaped flowers in clusters in the spring, making quite a show! A final suggestion is Pittosporum tobira 'Variegatum'. This shrub has medium-green leaves with splashes of creamy white, and develops clusters of bright white flowers in the spring. It's easy care and thrives in shade.
Hope one of these shrub suggestions appeals to you!
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