What to plant with Emerald cedars


I have a row of emerald cedars. I want to create more garden beds in front of them. It is partial/full shade. do you have suggestions as to what would be best in front of them. the soil is mainly clay.



Thanks for your inquiry.  There are so many options available to you.  The emerald cedars will provide a year round back drop to any number of shrubs and plants.

To determine which plants are most appropriate you will need to decide what it is you like / wish to accomplish.  For example do you want flowering shrubs and for which season, do you want plants that have winter interest through coloured stems or berries.

Other key points in helping with your decision will be light requirements and soil conditions.  You mention the soil is clay but you may want to have it tested to determine the pH level.  The light conditions are partial to full shade.

I would start with the light requirements first as this will reduce the number of shrubs to a more manageable number.  These are just a few suggestions, most of which I have in my garden.  Visiting a reputable garden centre and seeing the plants / shrubs first hand or viewing them on-line is a good idea.  To see them in a live setting, visit such places as The Toronto Botanical Gardens.

Good luck

Shrubs/ plants for partial /full shade

Botanical Name Common Name pH Flowering time Winter interest Leaf colour
Rhododendron Rhododendron Acidic Spring Evergreen Green
Hydrangeas Hydrangeas Any Summer Flower heads green
Kalmia   latifolia Mountain   Laurel ( parts are poisonous) Acidic to neutral spring evergreen green
Pieris   japonica Japanese   Pieris Acidic Spring Evergreen various
Leucothoe   fontanesiana Leucothoe,   Dropping any White/spring evergreen various
Hosta hosta Any Summer /white none various
Primula japonica Japanese primrose Any Spring / various none green
Kerria   japonica Japanese Kerria Neutral Spring Green twigs Green
Aralia   cordata Golden   Japanese Spikenard Neutral White /summer no Lime green