Every now and then, something does end up as pretty as planned. Here a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' sets off a fading bloom of my Oakleaf Hydrangea. The Actaea is also known as Bugbane, which is a much easier name to remember. It likes part to full shade and moist rich soils. I also love the the two leaves together. The shapes are similar in form and texture, but the size and color provide the contrast. This was my second attempt at an Actea. The first withered and died in the hot temperatures of last August. This year I planted it earlier, and the very cool and wet spring gave it a great headstart, I believe.