A designer shares her secrets for creating a cool backyard getaway
1. Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' A slow-growing deciduous tree, to 15 feet tall; leaves are deeply cut. Filtered shade is best; full sun satisfactory except in hottest climates.
2. Begonia semperflorens Low-growing bedding plants (up to a foot tall) pump out flowers in white and shades of red from spring through fall (winter annual in hottest climates). Filtered sun or bright indirect light.
3. Camellia japonica 'Nuccio’s Gem' White flowers and evergreen leaves on a shrub that grows to 12 feet tall and sometimes more. Filtered light.
4. Dogwood (Cornus alba 'Elegantissima') Deciduous shrub reaching 10 feet tall and wide with red stems, green-and-white foliage, and small, fragrant, creamy white flowers in spring. Light shade.
5. Variegated Nemesia caerulea (pictured) Compact mild-climate perennial reaches 2 feet tall ― perfect for a pot. Rich green leaves with white edges; delicate lavender-pink blooms. Part shade.