Ferns & Astilbe are a perfect mix for the shade garden, creating a soft and colorful display. While ferns are initially expensive, they are a hardy perennial and multiply rapidly. They are easily separated to be transplanted in new beds or given to friends. They stay green all summer and die back to a stub in winter for easy fall or spring cleanup.
Phlox stolonifera with Bloodroot, Vinca, Columbine and Hosta. I’ve found that this is a shallow rooted plant. Keeping it out of the hot afternoon sun keeps the soil from getting too dry. While it has tolerated some dryness I haven’t taken a chance to see just how dry it can get. During the summer I water the area a little if we haven’t had rain.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', large white blooms tinged with pale green; trailing Ivy at the base spills over the sides of the classy zinc planter boxes. Baltic Ivy (variegated creamy edge) would combine well too.