Woody Plants for Shade Part 8

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 5-7-2011 7-14-31 PM 5-11-2011 8-29-02 AMMy garden reaches one of its peaks when the doublefile viburnum, V. plicatum var. tomentosum, is blooming.  It has such a beautiful habit and way of holding its flowers.  I am offering the award-winning cultivar ‘Shasta’.


My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in perennials for shade with an emphasis on hellebores, unusual bulbs especially snowdrops, hostas particularly miniature hostas, native plants, and ferns.  However, a satisfying shade garden does not consist of just perennials but includes trees, shrubs, and vines.  I provide a quality source for these plants by doing a special offer three times a year. 

I have just sent my second 2013 list to my customers.  To view the catalogue, click here.   However, I always do a post on the plants offered so that my blog readers who are not customers can learn about the woody plants that I would recommend they add to their shade gardens.  And doing an article allows me to add more information and explain why I chose the plants I included so customers might be interested also.


Camellia x 'Winter's Darling'‘Winter’s Darling’ fall-blooming camellia with ‘Moudry’ black fountain grass.

This offer focuses on plants that are late spring-, summer-, or fall- blooming, evergreen, and/or native..  Included are two camellias, two additional evergreen shrubs, four deciduous shrubs, and three vines.  Four of the plants I have chosen are evergreen, and five bloom off season, in summer or fall.   This reflects  my desire to see gardeners expand their gardens’ season beyond spring to become a year round paradise for them to enjoy.  With that introduction, here are the plants I am highlighting:

Camellia x 'Winter's Darling'‘Winter’s Darling’

I have included two fall-blooming hardy camellias for their spectacular late season flowers and elegant evergreen leaves. These camellias, along with many other cultivars, have been selected to be fully cold hardy in the mid-Atlantic U.S., zones 6B and 7A.  Nevertheless all camellias benefit from being sited to shelter them from winter wind, which comes from the northwest.  They also maintain their lustrous dark green leaves in better shape if they are sheltered from winter sun.

‘Winter’s Darling’ is a camellia cultivar suitable for our area because it was selected for its cold hardiness by Dr. William Ackerman at the U.S. National Arboretum.  It has very showy deep cerise pink anemone form flowers in November and December and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It grows slowly to 6′ tall and 5′ wide in part to full shade.  In my garden, it has a  shorter and more relaxed habit than my other camellias.


Camellia Northern Exposure Monrovia‘Northern Exposure’ fall-blooming camellia.  Thanks to Monrovia for allowing me to use their photo.

I don’t currently grow the fall-blooming camellia ‘Northern Exposure’, but I am ordering one now to add to my garden.  It has gorgeous pale pink plump buds that open to very large, single white flowers with bright yellow stamens over a long period of time in fall and winter and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It is 6’ tall and 5′ wide, growing in part to full shade.


Osmanthus heterophyllus Gulftide PRN‘Gulftide’ holly osmanthus (also known as holly tea olive or false holly), O. heterophyllus, blooms in the fall and is fragrant.

Fall-blooming holly osmanthus ‘Gulftide’  is one of two additional evergreens in the offer, and I would grow it just for its dramatic, stiff and pointy, lustrous dark leaves.  Its small fragrant flowers perfume the garden in fall and the prickly foliage repels deer.  It grows slowly up to 8 to 10’ tall and 4’ wide in part to full shade.  It has a dense and compact habit and is very adaptable as to soil type  It is the most cold hardy of the osmanthus, suitable for zones 6 and higher.  For some reason it is hard to find and sells out immediately so if you want one, send me an email right away.  The nursery just notified me that they also have available a very limited number of the cultivar ‘Sasaba’ which sold out in my last offer.


Viburnum x rhytidoppylloides 'Dart's Duke'I have offered the hybrid leatherleaf viburnum ‘Dart’s Duke’, V. x rhytidophylloides, before, and it is profiled in Woody Plants for Shade Part 3.  I am including it again because it is such a versatile evergreen, deer resistant plant, growing in sun or shade and making an excellent screen or hedge with gorgeous flowers.  A Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant in 2012.


There are four deciduous shrubs in the offer:

Calycanthus x 'Hartlage Wine'Native hybrid ‘Hartlage Wine’ sweetshrub, Calycanthus raulstonii, is another repeat and was profiled in Woody Plants for Shade Part 1.  This shrub is in its glory right now with its gorgeous wine-red flowers set off beautifully by the smooth bright green leaves, one of my favorites.


Hydrangea macrophylla Tokyo Delight PRNThe lovely flowers of ‘Tokyo Delight’ bigleaf hydrangea have an outer rim of white with a deep sky blue center.


Hydrangea macrophylla Tokyo Delight 2 PRN‘Tokyo Delight’ has an excellent habit and produces copious amounts of blooms.


‘Tokyo Delight’ bigleaf hydrangea,  H. macrophylla, is a wonderful compact hydrangea that produces beautiful lacecap flowers with large white outer blooms and sky blue inner blooms for an extended period in summer.  The flowers age to a lovely, long-lasting rose color.  It is very cold hardy and blooms reliably every year.  It grows to 4’ tall and 3’ wide in part to full shade in zones 5 to 9. 


Rhododendron prunifolium PRNPlum leaf azalea is one of our wonderful deciduous U.S. native rhododendrons.


Native plum leaf azalea’s, Rhododenron prunifolium, striking 2″ orange to red flowers from June into August make this deciduous rhododendron a wonderful addition to the summer shade garden.  The flowers attract hummingbirds.  Plum leaf azalea has delicate, bright green leaves and a lovely upright habit with tiered branching.  It grows up to 8’ tall and 4’ wide in full sun to almost full shade in zones 5 to 9.


Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosumThe elegant flowers and pleated leaves of doublefile viburnum.


‘Shasta’ doublefile viburnum, V. plicatum var. tomentosum, was introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum as a cultivar with extra large flowers and a shorter more horizontal habit.  It produces its showy lacecap flowers in May and June, and they are displayed in a unique “doublefile” along the stems.  Its has pretty pleated medium green leaves and produces bright red berries in late July, which the birds love.  It grows quickly to 7’ tall and 10’ wide in part to full shade in zones 5 to 8.  ‘Shasta’ is deer resistant and is a PHS Gold Medal Plant.  I treasure my doublefile for its elegant “wedding cake” habit (see the first photo in the post)—one of the most noticed plants in my garden.


Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'‘John Clayton’ is the most vigorous and produces the most flowers of any of the native honeysuckle vines.


Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'‘John Clayton’ native trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, was featured previously in Woody Plants for Shade Part 3, but I am offering it again because it is such a carefree vine for part shade.


Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'Native ‘Amethyst Falls’  American wisteria, W. frutescens, was profiled previously in Woody Plants for Shade Part 2, but again it is such a wonderful vine as shown by its PHS Gold Medal Plant status that I am including it in this offer.


Wisteria frutescens Nivea PRN‘Nivea’ American wisteria


Native ‘Nivea’ American wisteria, the white-flowered form of W. frutescens, is the final plant in the offer.  It is identical to ‘Amethyst Falls’ and produces copious amounts of fragrant white flowers from June to August.  It has fine-textured, attractive foliage and is less rampant than the Asian species of wisteria.  It grows to 20′ in full to part sun (it is not technically a shade plant) in zones 5 to 9.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.


I grow most of these plants in my garden so I know you can’t go wrong by adding them to yours!  If you are a customer, click here for details on how to order these wonderful shade plants by noon on May 18.  If not, now you have some plants to ask for at your local independent nursery.  If you want to read about all the woodies I have profiled, here are the links:

Part 1,   Part 2,   Part 3,   Part 4,   Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8



Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Spring Shrub Offer is now in full swing and orders are due May 18.  To read about the plants available and place an order, click here.  The 2013 Miniature Hosta Mail Order Catalogue, containing 34 choice selections of miniatures for shipping all over the US, is now on the right sidebar here, and we are ready to ship.  If you are local, you can use the catalogue to see what miniatures are available at the nursery.  Next up is open hours over Memorial Day Weekend.  If you are a customer, expect an email shortly with all the details.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

45 Responses to “Woody Plants for Shade Part 8”

  1. Nice selection, Carolyn. My Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum will be in bloom when I visit YOU! When I travel at this time of year I miss my favorite bloomers, this shrub being one of them. I love PA for the Rhodies. Penn’s Woods (PA) has perfect conditions for so many woodland plants.

  2. Another great post Carolyn… I actually need to check into some of your older posts as I believe you covered a number of anemones that I have and need names for… We had 28 degrees a couple nights ago but it did less damage than I would have suspected. I am so far behind as Saturday will be a month that I’ve been restricted for health reasons and the two surgeries. I found out today that I need to have a new pacemaker in the next two weeks… this is really getting old! I haven’t had a spring like this in a long time… oh well, this too shall pass! Larry

    • Larry, You know that you have my absolute best wishes and hopes that all these medical issues will be behind you soon. What type of anemones were you thinking of? Maybe I could refer you to the right post. We have been having very cold weather here too for southeastern Pa in mid-May. It went down to 37 degrees last night which hasn’t happened in a decade and only reached 60 degrees today. However, I am really enjoying our long cool spring when the flowers last forever. Carolyn

  3. i am interested in buying the John Claytopn trumpet honeysuckle but I have a pretty restricted space. Can I prune it to fit a space about six feet by four without osiing all the flowers? Do you have another recommendation for the space?

  4. Love the native honeysuckles! Our native one resembles Dropmore Scarlet – an orange version of your tubular yellow John Clayton

  5. Thanks for yet another great post from you Carolyn, nice to see a Lonicera sempervirens, I used to grow one in a large container up a drain pipe in my shady corner, with absolutely no sun ever. It was happy for a number of years but eventually it stopped flowering. Shame, I liked it, but had nowhere else to put it. I also read with interest about the H. macrophylla ‘Tokyo Delight’. My camellia lost one of its main branches some years ago and has a big gap when you look at it from the bottom of my garden. There is a space of about 4’ x 4’ or so under it where I would love to grow a plant, but it would be in complete shade so not much would thrive there long term. I would ideally like to have something evergreen, a rhododendron or evergreen azalea for example, but a hydrangea could also be possibly, if it tolerates complete shade. ‘Tokyo Delight’ is for sale here in Britain but info says it grows to 6’ high when mature, a bit too tall for what I need perhaps, but it looks lovely on the photos.
    I’d love to have another camellia, but although they grow very slowly they do need space eventually, and space is hard to come by in my garden 🙂

  6. Lovely selection again Carolyn, I just wish my woodland was twice the size, then I could plant all the lovely shrubs I see in your posts! I have a lot of what you have profiled, but different varieties. I think Vibernums are a lovely family, I seem to have collected quite a few different ones, lovely flowers, lovely foliage, berries and good autumn tints, what more could we ask of a shrub?!

    • Pauline, I too love viburnums and have many different kinds. In addition to the positives you list, around here we plant them because deer don’t eat them. Now that I have a deer fence I can also have hydrageas so I have been focusing on the them lately. Carolyn

  7. interesting and helpful post again Carolyn, very beautiful plants in both foliage and flower, thanks,
    the weather seems to be unseasonably cold in many parts of the northern hemisphere, this week is feeling like winter over here, as you say though spring flowers lasting longer, my daffodils were late but are blooming longer, Frances

  8. How gorgeous all that colour is!! WOW!! The azalea is beautiful and that Doublefile Viburnum. I have never seen that before!

  9. Beautiful offerings!

  10. As always a most informative post Carolyn. Your fist image made me take a second look – no, ‘Mouldry’ wasn’t flowering now but you are showing how it will look in autumn. Quite right too, gardeners need to think and plan ahead but at present I am just enjoying the bounty of early summer! I still think your customers are very lucky indeed to have you as their supplier. You wonldn’t like to set up in central Italy would you? Christina

  11. All beautiful. I love camellias, and I love hydrangeas, too. That Tokyo Delight is so pretty! Those honeysuckles look beautiful, too. I bet they have the most wonderful scent!

  12. That is a stunning Viburnum at the beginning of this post! Thanks for all the great suggestions. I’m waiting for my Kentucky Wisteria to fill in, but it makes more progress every year. Definitely a favorite genus.

    • PP, I haven’t tried the Kentucky wisteria which is a different speciesd. The American wisteria gets going in its second year. I am growing it on my neighbor’s hideous chain link fence so I haven’t felt a need to. It it back.

  13. timefliespa Says:

    Hi Carolyn, seems like the weather held for this morning’s seminar. Yay, lots to learn. Your gardens look fabulous. Saw a wonderful leaf birdbath in the back near your compost area- did you buy that from that container gal? Thanks for giving me her name or my name to her. See you soon, Rosemary

    RPCostello personal assistant 610/659-7269

  14. The John Clayton honeysuckle looks great. It seems quite large in the photo. I am growing L. sepervirens and it put out new foliage in March -unheard of! Obviously quite hardy plants.

  15. Hi Carolyn, I really do admire your viburnum, V. plicatum var. tomentosum. The layered habit of growth encouraged us to plant one a few years ago. True to habit we didn’t give it the necessary room.

  16. As always, I am wishing yours was a nursery close to me! I wasn’t aware that the holly osmanthus bloomed. I grow several of the variegated ‘Goshiki’ osmanthus, and I have never seen a bloom on any of them. Fragrant blooms would be a wonderful bonus!

  17. I have a similar honeysuckle growing in my garden. I thought it was a bit floppy, but didn’t realise that it was a vine. Thanks.

  18. I really love John Clayton. I just don’t know what I would have to remove in order to plant one.

  19. Carolyn your garden bushes are stunning and I have always wanted to grow wisteria…that purple one is gorgeous. If you grow that in your garden to sell, you can count on the fact I will leave with one once I visit….retirement is July 31st!!

  20. Hello.

    It looks like I missed the window of opportunity to order Viburnums for the season. Do you have any left that I can order?


  21. Wonderful. Thank you so very much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: