Gardens have spots where an evergreen is the one plant that is a perfect fit--under windows, beside doorways or as a living fence. The one thing that a gardener cannot change is the degree of sun and shade that one spot gets each day. Evergreens are a large group of plants encompassing many different families with specimens of all sizes and shapes. Many are perfect for a shady spot.
Anglojap yew (Taxus x media) is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 30 feet tall and from 5 to 10 feet wide. The plant grows in full sun, partial shade or full shade and a soil that is moist to dry. Anglojap yew does not tolerate wet soil. The needles are light green when young and become dark green as they age and reach 1 inch in length. Male plants produce tiny, tan-white flowers. Female plants produce green flowers that give way to fruits that turn red in September. Anglojap yew is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica') likes full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist and well-drained; it is hardy in USDA zones 2 to 6. The shrub grows to 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide with light- to medium-green needles up to ½ inch long. Flowers and cones are virtually nonexistent.
Japanese falsecypress ( Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea') grows from 4 to 8 feet tall with a spread between 3 to 7 feet. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 and prefers partial shade and an average, well-drained soil. Japanese falsecypress produces thin, gold, weeping leaves. Mature plants produce small pine cones.
Hasse' Southern Magnolia
Hasse' southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Hasse') grows from 25 to 35 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide. The tree features fragrant, white, cup-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. Oval or egg-shaped leaves measure 8 to 12 inches long and 4 to 8 inches wide. The flowers are followed by fruits from 3 to 6 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide that start out brown and become red as they mature. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10A. Give Hasse' southern magnolia partial shade or full sun and a soil that is well drained. The fruit is a treat for the local birds.