Answer: Because of their spreading, open-vase shape, there's room to plant other winter bloomers beneath and around witch hazels. Evergreens like bergenia, sweet box (Sarcococca species) and black mondo grass are good companions to fill out the picture when witch hazels are bare. The narrow, black blades of the mondo grass are especially effective as their shape echoes the spidery filaments of the witch hazel flowers. Hellebores bloom just a little later than the witch hazels, carrying the flower show on until the daffodils and tulips push their way up through the ground.
As for evergreen shrubs, Boxwoods are great for partial shade/shade, and you might consider smaller varieties of catawba rhododendron if you want a flowering plant; a small textured broadleaf holly, or a needled evergreen yew.
Q&A Library Searching Tips