I’ll admit, coming from California I’m used to sun, sun, sun. Since moving to Seattle and beginning a career in landscape design, I’ve learned to embrace and appreciate plants that thrive in shade. And my goodness, as I delve deeper into this profession, I only continue to be amazed be the abundance of plants we have available to us here in the Pacific Northwest.

I truly love every aspect of landscape design, from meeting a client and helping to decipher their desires for their outdoor space, to sketching concept plans, to working with contractors to realize the vision. But I must say, putting together planting plans is at the top of the list as a favorite “task”. It’s like putting together a puzzle where the pieces consist of light conditions, soil conditions, color palette, texture, shape, size, plant purpose, seasonal interest… It can be extremely challenging at times, but when you “get it” it’s incredibly rewarding.

Here’s a plant palette of lime, aubergine and white for a partially shady border in a recent backyard design. I just love seeing all the pieces together. That puzzle… becomes a restful 3 dimensional scene with dashes of light to brighten the corners.

Plant List:
Hosta ‘City Lights’
Hydrangea ‘Lime Lights’
Hosta ‘June’
Heuchera ‘Obsidian’
Carex ‘Ice Dance’
Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’
Cotinus coggigria ‘Grace’
Stewartia pseuodocamelia