The Q&A Archives: Fence

Question: I have a wooden fence at the back of my property that gets sun only in the morning and late afternoon. what can I plant that is tall, easy care, and attractive.

Thank You, Donne Reese

Answer: There are a number of shrubs suitable for shade or partly shaded spots. Here are a few of the best for your gardening region:

Acanthopanox sieboldiana ?Variegata? (Variegated Five-leaf Aralia): A tough shrub capable of lighting up a dry, shady area with creamy mottled foliage ? 8 to 10?.

Chamaecyparis obtussa ?Nana? (Dwarf Hinoki False Cypress): Wonderful compact upright evergreen shrub whose foliage displays in bright green whorls ? 3 to 6?.

Cornus alba ?Elegantissima? (Silverblotch Dogwood): A shade brightening shrub with red stems holding leaves that are strongly edged in white ? can spread by suckering ? 6 to 8?.

Euonymus fortunei ?Canadian Gold? (Canadian Gold Euonymus): Just a little afternoon shade can soften the brightness of this small standard form that has blazing green and gold variegated foliage ? 7?.

Forsythia intermedia (Forsythia): The bright yellow blooms of this familiar shrub will still show through in shaded areas of the yard; Also offered in an interesting grafted tree form ? 8 to 10?.

Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf Fothergilla): A compact shrub that can thrive in shade and still display slightly scented white spring flowers, good bluish green leaves, and amazing fall colors ? 3 to 5?.

Hydrangea arborescens grandiflora (Garden Hydrangea): Having smaller flowers than its famous cultivar, ?Annabelle?, this older form?s flowers are less prone to droop to the ground in deeper shade ? 4 to 6?.

Kerria japonica ?Pictum? (Pictum Kerria): Dry shade tolerant shrub showing yellow spring flowers, white margined leaves, and bright green stems that can show into the winter ? 3 to 5?.

Leucothoe fontanesiana (Leucothoe): Evergreen foliage shines green in summer, turns mahogany for winter ? prefers moist but well drained shady spot ? 3 to 4?.

Microbiota decussata (Siberian Cypress): A low growing evergreen with arborvitae-like foliage that grows fine in well drained, shady locations ? 1?.

Pieris japonica ?Mountain Fire? (Japanese Andromeda): The new foliage is fiery red against the lustrous evergreen mature leaves; Clusters of creamy white flowers in spring ? 5 to 6?.

Rhododendron ?Bikini Island? (Bikini Island Rhododendron): A newer introduction of the late David Leach that is said to be the finest red for cold climates; Extraordinary scarlet red flowers in early June ? 6?.

Rhododendron ?Casanova? (Casanova Rhododendron): Another new Leach rhododendron; Its pale pink flowers change to light yellow for a striking contrast new to hardy rhododendrons ? 6?.

Rhododendron ?Red River? (Red River Rhododendron): A very late blooming large plant with red flowers that is suitable for woodland screening: Also an introduction of David Leach ? 11?.

Rhodotypos scandans (Black Jetbead): This very tough shrub will grow where others fear to bed; Can take dryness; White flowers in summer; Black berries last into winter ? 3 to 6?.

Sambucus racemosa ?Sutherland? (Sutherland Golden Elderberry): An excellent new introduction; The finely cut golden yellow leaflets of this shrub are so brilliant, that a tiny bit of shade nicely tones it down ? 8?.

Stephenandra incisa ?Crispa? (Cutleaf Stephenandra): A low spreading shrub with finely textured bright green leaves; Excellent for shade ? 2 to 3?.

Thuja occidentalis ?Emerald? (Emerald Arborvitae): Though best when planted in full sun, arborvitaes can tolerate a little bit of shade. This is an excellent narrow cultivar ? 14?.

Tsuga canadensis ?Sargentii? (Sargent?s Weeping Hemlock): The spreading and strongly weeping habit of this evergreen tree make it a wonderful specimen for the shade; Usually slow growing and used as a shrub.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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