Home and Garden

High-Performance Plants for Shade with Dan Hinkley


Plants – all creatures rely on them to survive, but their immeasurable value goes well beyond a means of subsistence. Modern people have been amazed by their beauty for thousands of years – they seek, collect, and cultivate these botanical wonders for their fascinating properties. If you are a gardener you know all too well that the zeal for amazing plants is real. And thanks to renowned Washington state plant farmer Dan Hinkley, most gardeners have to go to their local garden center to find new and exciting offers.

For more than 25 years Dan has traveled the world in search of high performance plants for use in gardens both large and small. For gardeners, Dan’s plants are invaluable throughout the landscape, adding amazing textures, colors, and shapes. In this video, designer Courtney Olander sat down with Dan to talk about some of his favorite plants, available in the Dan Hinkley Collection, offered by Monrovia – North America’s leading producer of premium landscaping plants – since 2007.

You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at Dan’s private Windcliff garden and propagation greenhouse, and learn about some of the expeditions he’s been on to find specialty plants.

Here is a listing of some of the plants you will see and get to know:

Sunny Daze Japanese Laurel (Aucuba japonica ‘MonHinsuru’, Zones 8-10)

Camouflage Colorful Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’, zones 7-10)

Winged Phoenix hardy Schefflera (Schefflera heptapleurum ‘Monhinschf’, zones 7-10)

Goldfinger hardy Schefflera (Schefflera heptapleurum ‘Hingdfn’, zones 7-10)

Beesia (Beesia deltophylla, zones 6–8)

Jurassic velociraptor ribbon fern (Pteris cretica, zones 7–9)

Red-leaved Mukdenia (Mukdenia rossii ‘Crimson Fans’, Zones 4–9)

Tectonic begonias (Begonia spp. And cvs., Zones 8–11)

For more information on the Monrovia Dan Hinkley Collection, visit:


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Robert Dunfee