Revamping shade garden
We had a multi-trunk Eastern Redbud that lasted about 20 years, until our last big thunderstorm (bummer). We had developed a shade garden underneath it that was doing well in a semi-circular shape, with a sandstone walk along the straight edge. The redbud had been in the center of the garden.
The garden is bordered with monkey grass, and includes several hostas, two different kinds of hydrangeas, a score of day- and tigerlillies, a viburnum, some vinca, some annuals and a whole bunch of coneflowers, which have just gone wild - I didn't know they loved the sun that much - since the redbud's demise.
Our first thought had been to just replace the redbud, but a local gardener we respect had suggested putting something interesting in the center to provide the shade the hydrangeas and hosta need - something like nandina or a fast-growing annual like a castor oil plant - and put a shade tree outside the garden to the West - like an oak or pecan.
The garden gets sun at two different times (b/c of a large silver maple to 10 yards to the S), from about 10am to noon, and from 3 or 4pm to sundown.
Attached is a picture for reference - the lamium has died out since this was taken, and the coneflowers are behind the bench.