This is what it looks like today. I added sand to try and amend some of that clay (thanks for the suggestion Tina!) and I really do think that helped quite a bit. I didn't have problems digging holes like before. I planted 3 coral bells earlier in the spring. Right now they are doing great--I just worry about what will happen when it gets hot.
The hostas came back and are beautiful! I moved some from the sunny side of this bed last year. I love hostas-they are so perfect for shade. I also planted 2 artemisia. I know they are more sun plants, but I am hoping the filtered sun that comes through might be enough. There is a small turk's cap that you can barely see behind the rock. I had it last year and was so happy to see it come back. It grows more and more everyday.
As an experiment, I put a few begonias around the plants. They are doing fantastic, so I am thinking of buying more to fill in the holes. As you can see, there are some container plants in the background. I already had these and liked them up against the fence, so left them there. I also planted a small boxwood that I am hoping will grow and give this bed some height.
I still have quite a bit to do in this bed, but I am pretty pleased with the way it is coming along so far. I would like to try and find more shade perennials-maybe this weekend. Of course, you know how it is--we are never really "done" are we? Gardening is never over, it's usually just beginning no matter how far we have come--and I absolutely love that!!
"A gardener's work is never at an end; it begins with the year, and continues to the next."