Answer: Here are a few suggestions for background shrubs (I've noted their preferred exposure to sunshine):
Chollipo Euonymus (Euonymus Japonicus 'Chollipo'): Chollipo Euonymus is more cold hardy than other types of Japanese Euonymus. It grows relatively quickly and has a cream and green variegated leaf and is also reasonably drought tolerant. Prune in the spring to maintain desired shape and plant in afternoon shade. (6'Hx6'W)
Silver King Euonymus (Euonymus Japonicus 'Silver King'): Silver King Euonymus is another form of Japanese Euonymus. It is narrower at maturity than most other euonymus and for this reason works well in confined spaces. It does need winter protection from the wind and sun. (6'Hx3'W)
American Elderberry (Sambubcus Canadensis 'Aurea'): This is native plant that has tasty berries and pretty flowers. American Elderberry is commonly sold in yellow and green leafed forms, and it works well as an informal screen or in naturalized areas. Plant the green form in full sun and the yellow in part shade. (8'Hx6'W)
Although deciduous, you might consider Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus'): Dwarf Burning Bush is one of the most popular shrubs sold in Utah because it turns brilliant red in the fall. It is often used as a hedge or as a specimen plant and does best in full sun to part shade. The leaves are dark green. (5'Hx5'W)
Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your landscape.
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