Republished from my blog gardeningbytes.com.
There are many wonderful plants you can use to fill out your shady garden areas. Some of my favorite woodland plants from this list include fuchsias and foxgloves. Fuchsias like cool summers, keep your fuchsias shaded in hot weather and watered as needed. Foxgloves are fantastic tucked into a corner next to a house, or in the back of a border. When it comes to heather ask for a shade-tolerant variety for shady areas, there are some specific heathers that tolerate shade well but most heathers require six hours of sunshine a day. Geraniums are not just your old-style grandma plants anymore, and they are workhorses in the garden, pretty much fool-proof other than dieing down during hard frosts but they always come back. Check out the variety of scented geraniums, they have more delicate flowers and wonderful scents. Ivy leafed geraniums are also prettier than the old-standard geraniums. Johnson's Blue is a beautiful blue flowered geranium that produces a big rounded bunch of flowers and dies back during winter here on the coast but comes back every season. If you are planting ivy just know they can be invasive left to their own devices.
Hellebore (Christmas Rose/Lenten Rose)
Rose of Sharon
Iris (Dutch iris and dwarf iris are easiest to work with)