All it takes is one unique plant to draw attention to a special area of the garden. In Shelly and Bill Coglizer's Northern California backyard, that attention-getter is Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea'). Like a yellow headlight, its foliage adds an enticing spark of color to a lush green shade garden.
To further brighten the once-dark corner and to complement the barberry, landscape designer Freeland Tanner chose gold-tinged hostas (Hosta fluctuans 'Variegated'), golden Acorus gramineus 'Ogon', and gold-leafed lysimachia. Nearby are bright green tree ferns, golden Hinoki false cypress, and lady's-mantle. A casual decomposed-granite path leads to a weathered bench, which anchors the composition and gives it structure.
DESIGN: Freeland Tanner, Proscape Landscape Design, Yountville (707/226-2540)