Floribunda A quick-change color show is what you get from this aptly named plant. Blossoms turn from purple (“yesterday”) to lavender (“today”) to white (“tomorrow”). And all colors are usually present at the same time on this 10-foot-tall plant. In small spaces, you can keep it to 3 feet tall with pruning, or grow a dwarf form. Zones 12– 17, 20–24; H1, H2.
Hosta perennial hybrids Hostas come in a virtual wardrobe of shapes, textures, and colors. Depending on variety, their leaves may be heart-shaped, round, oval, or lance-shaped; glossy or dull; smooth or quilted; blue, green, or yellow. We especially love the cool, bluish green ‘Sagae’ (pictured); it grows 2 feet tall, and makes a stunning accent in a blue-green glazed container. The perennial also sends up white flowers in late summer.
Hydrangea macrophylla. The shrub is easy to grow, needing little fussing beyond watering, occasional feeding, and light pruning once a year. Yet it pumps out big mophead flower clusters—in shades of pink, blue, and white—that can reach 10 or more inches across. For really large clusters, grow H. arborescens ‘Incrediball’, which has 12-inch heads that open lime green, turn snowy white, then age to pale green on plants to 10 feet tall.
Canadian Hemlock Another evergreen at the top of our most graceful list, Canadian hemlock has arching, almost feathery new growth. It's also a winner because it doesn't mind a bit of shade. Name: Tsuga canadensis Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil Size: Varieties can grow as tall as 80 feet Zones: 4-7 Grow It Because: You want an evergreen that thrives in part shade.