Do you live in a mature neighborhood with a lot of great shade trees? Or do you live in an apartment or home where most of your garden space faces north? Or does that big high-rise next door block a lot of the sun from reaching your balcony?
Don't despair! There are many garden plants that can not only survive, but thrive in the shade. This is by no means a complete list but a short list to get you started in the right direction if you wish to get more usefulness from your garden's shady areas.
Impatiens, New Guinea
Sweet Potato Vine
Edibles (for light or partial shade)
And here are a few tips:
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.
5) Edibles will benefit from a raised bed, just be careful of where you position the raised bed so it does not smother the tree's roots.
For more on shade gardening, refer to these articles from these well-known sources:
Source: National Garden Bureau