Mid-sized flowering shrub for shade?
My sister has a bed running along the back of her house and is looking for ideas for an area in one of her beds. She lives in southern Michigan (Zone 6) -- not terribly far from the Ohio border.
The bed in question has an EAST exposure. Part of the bed gets full sun from early morning until around noon. The other part gets only an hour or two of early morning sun before being shaded by a large maple. The maple stands approximately 10-15ft outside of this area of the bed. Tree removal is not an option.
The sunny side of the bed is pretty much done containing various Hosta, a climbing rose, some sun loving annuals to add spots of color, etc. Once the Rose of Sharon stumps rot away enough to pull them out, several Weigelia (most probably 'Wine and Roses') will be planted against the house in that part of the bed.
The shady area is where the issue arises. This area runs about 12-15ft deep from front edge to the house. This side also contains numerous Hosta, as well as some low growing shady loving annuals. The problem lies further back in that shady area, closer to the house. Ideally, she would like either a shrub or a perennial that:
Ã¯Â¿Â½ grows up to 4ft or so (she'd like it tall and wide enough to hide the power meter box)
Ã¯Â¿Â½ not a rampant reseeder or spreader
Ã¯Â¿Â½ flowers (with a leaning towards summer bloomers but that's not written in stone)
Ã¯Â¿Â½ interesting foliage (colorful and/or interesting leaf shape)
Ã¯Â¿Â½ does not have high water needs (between the maple and no automatic sprinkler system, high water needs could prove difficult)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) does not interest her. While the leaf shape makes a decent divergence from the typical Hosta leaf form, the flower color is too bland.
Azalea or Rhododendron are considerations but I don't know of any that have any foliar interest.