Republished from my blog gardeningbytes.com.
Woodland plants work well in shady gardens and are plentiful in terms of varieties to choose from. Woodland plants prefer a good soil with plenty of leaf material or compost. Most of these plants do well in partial shade to shaded conditions. If you have a shady area in your yard a good starting point is to choose one of the many varieties of ferns, they lend a feeling of the woods to your yard and are low maintenance. Sword ferns are an easy entryway to provide a woodland feeling, or get ambitious and plant an Australian tree fern as a focal point in your garden.
Azaleas (beautiful flowers, smaller than Rhododendrons, many varieties and colors to choose from)
Barberry (prickly thorns with red coloring)
Bear’s Breeches (very pretty display of huge leaves and tall stalks of flowers)
Bugle (low growing with colorful flowers)
Clematis vines (many varieties and colors, grow them up trees and shrubs or alone)
Conifers (huge variety of shrubs)
Cotoneaster (great as a ground cover)
Cyclamen (low growing and colorful flowers)
Glory of the Snow (colorful low growing bulb for spring)
Columbine (re-seeds readily)
Heather (hardy shrub, make sure they have a minimum of six hours of direct sun a day to thrive and is a variety that takes semi-shade planting)
Lords and Ladies
Montbretia (can be invasive bulbs, if they love where they are planted they spread quite a bit)
Rhododendrons (beautiful displays of flowers, give them plenty of room to grow large)