Companions for Japanese maple?
Have a shady spot behind a japanese maple in front of the house. Gets some morning sun but shaded rest of the day. Would like something to lighten up the area for the rest of the day so preferably something with a bright foliage or flowering all year around. I thought of false cypress but they need more sun? Would prefer something that makes the maple stand out and about 4 ft tall without getting too wide.
Right now I have two new planted Let's dance hydrangea but realized they are too small for the spot. I am going to move them in front of the JM in spring. What could replace them? Open to perennial or shrub suggestions. The obvious solution would be boxwoods or yews but not really good contrast for the maple.
See pics below.
Same area from behind