Gardening in shade can be just as beautiful as gardening in sun when you work with what you have. Here are some shade gardening tips from the National Garden Bureau ... www.ngb.org.
Gardening in shade
1) Shade gardening often means trying to plant among established trees and shrubs where digging around roots can be troublesome. In that case, starting with smaller transplants will be easier so you won't have to dig as large a hole.
2) Just because it's shady doesn't mean you won't need to water as often. Oftentimes, those trees can suck up available moisture leaving your color plants thirsty.
3) And yes, those trees can provide instant mulch in the fall but if you fail to shred the leaves before spreading them as mulch, you might end up with a matted mess that allows diseases and pests to thrive.
4) To brighten shady areas use light-colored flowers such as white, light pink or palest blues. Dark colors tend to get "lost" in shady areas.
From Kathy: Ferns, which thrive in shade, are best planted in the fall; other shade-loving plants include Lenten rose, columbine, hosta, astilbe, camellia, gardenia, hydrangea and foxglove.