A long narrow garden ends in a round area about 4 meters in diameter next to our patio, and the lovely cascading Japanese maple that grew there died last summer, a victim of verticillium wilt. The tree was quite a focal point, and since Japanese maples are rather susceptible to wilt, replanting another right away isn't a good idea. The area gets morning sun, afternoon shade, and the idea is to not plant something of large stature which would block the view from the house to the yard and gardens beyond. Of course this area gets hot summers and cold winters, a lot of wind, so a certain degree of toughness is required as well as a minimum of zone 5 winter hardiness. So what to plant that will be aesthetically pleasing as a garden focal point and yet fit all the remaining parameters, and mind you, the Phactor gets quite bored with the ordinary, which is why there are over 150 different types of woody plants growing in our estate. So far nothing has suggested itself as a front runner replacement shrub. Your nominations will be accepted.