The Q&A Archives: What shrubs live in part shade?

Question: I have a large front yard instead of a large back yard. The front yard gets partial sunlight. What can I plant to give it some color?

Answer: Here are some suggestions for you:

Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera); For year-round interest in the shade garden, it's hard to beat the red twig dogwood. In spring, it will leaf out, followed in summer by tons of white blooms. In fall, the leaves will turn a breathtaking coppery purple. Even after the leaves all fall, it will still be gorgeous throughout the winter, thanks to the bright red bark on its branches. Red twigs do well in part shade, but will tolerate full shade. Hardy in zones two through seven, they can ultimately grow to eight feet tall. However, to keep the bark vibrant, be sure to cut out some of the older branches, as the new ones that grow in have much brighter bark.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia); Oakleaf Hydrangea (hardy in zones five through nine) is a beautiful addition to the shade garden. It is perfectly happy in part shade, and will easily grow to six to eight feet tall. It blooms in late spring, forming panicles of white flowers that will eventually fade to pink in summer, and to brown by fall. If left on the shrub, these faded panicles will provide winter interest as well. Besides the flowers, oakleaf hydrangea has gorgeous, exfoliating bark with cinnamon undertones.

Enjoy your landscape!

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