One of the best ways to lighten up a shady garden is to include plants with white to cream variegated leaves. Shrubs to look for include Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Tricolor’ (USDA zone 6), variegated flowering maples such as Abutilon savitzii (USDA zone 9), Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ (USDA zone 5), Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ (USDA zone 2), Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Irene Paterson’ or P. tobira ‘Variegata’ (both USDA zone 9), Daphne ordora ‘Marginata’ (USDA zone 7), Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’ (USDA zone 7), and Viburnum tinus ‘Variegatum’ (USDA zone 8).

Check with your local nursery to see which plants grow best in your area, and consult the plant label or your favorite gardening book to see how much shade your selection can take. Help your new shrubs get off to a great start by feeding and providing insect protection.