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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