Ferns are a good beginning plant for shade gardens. Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red' is a deer resistant lady fern. It pairs well with Hostas and will get your woodland garden off to a good start. You can add some Heuchera (Coral Bells) for some color contrast, as their foliage ranges from purple to chartreuse.
Other partial shade flowers you can incorporate into your garden are Astilbe and Pulmonaria. Astilbe (False Spirea) will do well in the back of your shaded garden, as these plants grow between three and four feet tall. Astilbe chinensis 'Mighty Pip' adds a stunning touch of color with its partial shade flowers on branched spikes of light pink blooms. Pulmonaria (Lungwort) is another must have plant for shade gardens. They begin blooming in late February and equal the Hellebores in flowering beauty.
Cypripedium (Ladyslipper Orchid) is another lovely plant for shade gardens and woodland gardens alike. Though they tend to require a little more attention when planting, the bloom is well worth it. Another shade plant is Arisaema (Jack in the Pulpit which is a spring flowering exotic plant.
So if you only have 3-4 hours of sunlight a day do not despair. Plant Delights Nursery can hook you up with some of the finest partial shade flowers on the market. We are a family-owned mail order nursery and we grow our plants ourselves. We have knowledgeable staff on hand to answer your questions and you can place your order online 24/7. Please give us a try for your perennials. You'll be glad you did.