The perennials for shade gardens described below are to provide you with a starting point.
I hope these few examples will encourage you to investigate using more types of plants that are tolerant of being in the shade.
Astilbe is one of the easiest perennials to plant and maintain. It comes in three main colors: white, pink or red, and different varieties grow to twenty, thirty and forty inches in height. It looks beautiful if planted in groups and/or in different color combinations, and its fluffy spikes of flowers create a great effect.
This plant looks humble and beautiful in its simplicity. Its bell shaped white flowers will bring a special charm to your garden and fill it with a fragrance. It can be used for ground cover as it only grows up to six inches.
Foxglove is a tall plant that can reach up to five feet in height. That is why foxglove plants are perfect for the back row in your flower arrangement. The large spikes with bell shaped flowers will bring a splash of color ranging from purple to white. Be careful though as this plant is poisonous, make sure it is out of reach of small children and pets.
As you can make out from the name, its flowers are bell shaped and lavender blue in color. The plant is medium sized and grows up to around two feet high. Very hardy and requires very little maintenance.
The Lousiana Iris grows to around two feet tall and produces four inch blooms with a long flowering period. The flowers are purple with a kind of velvety effect and are absolutely stunning. To really make an impact it is recommended to plant these perennials in groups.
It's great that there are such a variety of plants that like either sun or shade because a garden that is either fully shaded or fully exposed to the sunlight all the time is rare. There are always different patches in gardens where the light levels change throughout the day and seasons.
Usually people prefer to plant taller perennials in the background, near the house, garage or trees, middle sized plants in the centre, and the shortest plants at the front or inner part of the plot. Make sure your plants blooming periods are at different times through the seasons.