?Chameleon? spurge seeds itself aroundAs you approach the bend, plantings in the Shade Garden shift increasingly to yellow-leafed plants. Turn the corner and there?s a stunning bank of golden Japanese forest grass shimmering under a row of deep purple sand cherry standards. Opposite them is a dark hedge of ?Diabolo? purple ninebark. ?I wanted to increase the impact of being suddenly surrounded by dark foliage,? says Deacon. ?It?s like coming into a dark room out of the bright sunlight.? Immediately, there is a calming sensation and a feeling of being cosseted. Among the structural trees and shrubs that will fill in to form the ?walls? of the Black Garden is an unusual Japanese barberry called ?Royal Cloak?. It grows into a fountain of burgundy-black foliage five feet tall (most barberries are small, mounding shrubs). Deacon says he lusted after another one?a gorgeous eight-footer called Berberis x ottawensis?that he saw in England?s Hadspen Garden, but he couldn?t find it in Canada.

?Chameleon? spurge seeds itself around