Answer: To get the maximum visual impact from your planter box, I suggest you plant a mixture of perennials and annuals that can tolerate partial shade. You could choose from compact varieties of perennials such as hardy Cranesbill geraniums, which bloom for most of the summer in various colors; bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.); and hostas (for beautiful foliage). To prolong bloom time, intersperse the perennials with annuals such as impatiens (worth trying again) and begonias. That yellow flowering shrub might have been a potentilla. It will be hard to find a flowering shrub that flowers all season. Most only flower a few weeks and then finish. Your local garden center is worth a visit to see what appeals to you. Lastly, but of upmost importance, makesure the soil in your planter is enriched with organic matter such as aged manure or compost to increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. Even shady planters tend to dry out rapidly, and this can stress your plants.
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