Answer: Shade tolerant flowers such as impatiens or fibrous rooted begonias should do well for you. If you would prefer to try perennials, a selection of hostas with patterned leaves and varying shapes along with some ferns, pulmonaria, lamium, tricyrtis, hellebore, and Solomon's seal would give a nicely textured, flowering display.
For best results, prepare the soil by loosening it down at least six inches (ten inches for perennials) and working in several inches of compost. Also run some basic soil tests to check fertility and soil pH levels. Adjust as indicated by the tests by adding fertilizer and/or lime. Use a general purpose granular or a slow release granular form of fertilizer per the label directions.
Purchase good quality plants and set them out after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has had a week or so to warm up in the spring. Firm the soil around the roots and water deeply after planting to settle any air pockets.
After planting, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. Use a layer of organic mulch about two inches thick to help keep the soil moist, prevent weeds, and help feed the soil slowly over time as it breaks down.
I hope this helps.
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