When planning out your shady garden, the best time to do your planting is in the early to late spring. Most of the plants you’ll work with experience a growing season from spring through summer. Planting during this time gives them the best survival rate.
Arrange your plants by their shade tolerance and what will visually look the best. Create levels for visual height. Look for plants that grow to different heights and place the tallest furthest away. Think about the blooms your shade perennials produce. You could group several begonias together for a multi-colored display. Or choose plants with white flowers for a clean and crisp look.
When arranging your plants, think about the amount of light the plant needs and where it will get that in your yard. If a plant loves afternoon shade, you don’t want to put it in a spot that gets tons of afternoon sunlight. Similarly, a plant that likes the dappled sun won’t be happy in a spot that never sees the sun.