The Q&A Archives: Low Light Shrubs

Question: Hi,
Oops, I forgot to mention in my last email that I live in zone 5-6, in Eastern Massachusetts, although, since I am on a hill, perhaps we should stick with zone 5 plants.

I'll repeat the question. I have a pair of Japanese maples, with a dry shade garden beneath them, along the south side of the house. I have several varieties of Hostas, ferns, and groundcovers, as well as a path meandering through, but other than the trees there are no

Answer: With an informal design to echo a woodland you might try some woodsy shrubs such as Aronia arbutifolia, Ilex verticillata, Itea virginica, and Fothergilla. These will look airy and somewhat thin when grown in shade much as you would see shrubs in a woodland. Another option might be to use large stones, an attractive bench on a larger scale, and a birdbath or sculptural element to complete the design. With Japanese maples, you want to avoid too much root disturbance and root competion from competing plants.

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