Re: shrubs for shade garden with winter interest
joyhockman, Since I’m not sure where you are gardening, I’ll suggest a few of my favorite shrubs with winter interest that do well here in the Hudson valley.
For full shade take a look at Mahonia aquifolium, it is evergreen and has berries in late summer. For good fruit set you will need several plants.
Viburnums are great for medium to bright shade. For winter interest in the shade, I particularly love cranberrybush viburnum (Viburnum opulus or Viburnum trilobum) Margaret has several great posts on viburnums http://awaytogarden.com/a-fruitful-year-for-my-viburnum and http://awaytogarden.com/think-fall-yes-fall.
There are of course lots of great choices for bright or partial shade. Here are two of my favorites:
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly) has beautiful berries until the birds get them. In general you will get fewer blooms and therefore fewer berries the deeper the shade. Here is Margaret’s post on winterberries http://awaytogarden.com/whither-goest-my-winterberries.
And twig dogwoods, such as Cornus sericea, Cornus sanguinea or Cornus stolonifera have beautiful winter twigs that come in a wide variety of colors. Check out this great photo of Margaret’s Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ http://awaytogarden.com/great-shrub-cornus-sanguinea-%e2%80%98winter-flame%e2%80%99
This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if none of these appeal, a great website for when you need plant suggestions for a particular situation is Missouri Botanical Garden’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening’s Plant Finder: http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Alpha.asp
I’d love to hear what shrubs other gardeners like.