The question I'm asked most often is, "What will grow in the shade?" There are plenty of sun lovers, but shade-tolerant plants are rare. Your local nursery will probably recommend hostas and ferns. But what about flowers?
Most "shade-tolerant" plants actually prefer part shade. Very few plants can survive in full shade. A few hours of morning sun is ideal. Sunlight filtering through the leaves of deciduous trees is fine.
Other factors to consider are soil quality and water. Most shade-tolerant plants enjoy rich, moist soil. Only a few will survive in poor, dry soil. You may have to experiment to see which plants will work in your garden. Here's a list of plants that can be grown in varying amounts of shade.