Beautiful flowers (which make great cut flowers), East Coast Native, evergreen foliage, tidy, and incredibly easy to propagate. It works well as an edger, naturalizer, or in front of the border. Why this plant isn't more popular is completely beyond me.
Stokesia in a Pot
This picture shows the robust, low foliage and the cool seed heads. Both the flowers and the seed heads are great in flower arrangements. The plant also works well in containers. Did I mention that I love this plant?
Raydon's Favorite and Purple Dome Aster
Balloon flower foliage, plus lamb's ear, peony, sedum, hosta, a few mums, and an thuja and stewartia.
This picture is meant to show the incredibly long bloom period of this variety (it's blooming with a late summer sedum). I'm dubious.
The leaves come in pretty much any color imaginable.
May Apple Flower
You have to look for the flowers under the huge leaves, but they are a delight. The fruit is supposedly tasty,
A fun woodland native that is low growing with huge leaves. The sprouts pop out like umbrellas and they create a relaxed ground cover. There is a wildly expensive variegated version available.
A true woodland with showy flowers.
I don't like the flowers. Cutting them back hard every year yields a lovely, upright shrub with a lot of impact and a small footprint. The leaves have better color in full sun, but the purple versions still color up well in the shade.
Evergreen foliage. They are often lumped with rhodos, but they have more delicate flowers in June.
Canadian yew is very dark green and it can be pruned to pretty much any shape. In early summer, the new growth is quite bright. There are very few needled evergreens that will grow in the shade.
Oak Leafed Hydrangea
These flower more in the sun. Frankly, I think they look better in the shade with lean soil. The flower heads are great in winter, but a little depressing in August.
Perfect in every way. Don't let familiarity blind you to this plant's incredible virtues.