Garden suggestions to go between irises and rhododendron


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I have a section near my goldfish pond that I'm trying to fill in, and I could use some advice.

I have 2 pictures attached. The second is a picture of my pond, but it's a few years old so I have a lot of plants in the pond now. To the far right of the pond is part sun (I guess you'd call it dappled?), and now I've planted Purple Heart setcreasea, followed by a hosta, followed by several irises and day lilies.

Then you'll see in the first picture that I've planted a rhododendron near the fence, which is mostly shaded under several trees. Please ignore the poison ivy on the fence... that's a work in progress :'-(

But what I'm not sure about is what I should put between the irises and the rhododendron. It's a large area of empty right now, easily 15' x 20'. I want to fill it in and make it look nice and lush, but I don't want to drown out the rhododendron, either.

I'm in zone 7A, and I'm open to planted perennials or containers. I'm starting to get too many containers to bring in over the winter, though, so I would prefer some things that survive the winter on its own.
 

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The photos and description here do not fully explain the planting situation. Where are the Iris that are mentioned in the title? In the second photo, is the Rhododendron to the left of the pond, out of the shot? You mention the Rhododendron is shaded, but what about the planting site. Most Iris are plants for full sun plants.

At this point, all I will suggest is be daring and leave some Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) grow on the fence behind the Rhododendron. Its location should prevent accidental contact, and it is a fine native plant with beautiful Fall leaf color.
 
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