The shady space between taller trees and bushes and low growing perennials lends itself to an array of blooming bushes and interesting foliage plants. These are the specimens that are at eye level in the border. While some draw your attention to focal points, others anchor the perimeter.
The mid-story is the ideal place for plants that provide all season interest. I search for shade tolerant dwarf varieties and bushes that can be trimmed to keep the heights between 3 and 6 feet. I like to echo the colors of the foliage in the ground cover and aim for a succession of bloom.
In my Zone 5-6 garden, I rely on the glorious blooms of rhododendrons, azalea and mountain ash in the spring, the magnificence of hydrangeas in the summer, Japanese maple foliage in autumn, and evergreen foliage and bark in the winter. The mid story space is also where I nestle a statue or a fountain.
Click Next to find our list of 10 bushes to plant under trees.