Need something that will grow in a shady spot

Need something that will grow in a shady spot

Hi all, starting to get the fever and perusing the catalogs online. I've got an area on the southwest side of the house that is mostly shady, though I think it might get a drop of sun here and there. A large tree shades much of it. Some grass grows, but not profusely. Against the house I've got two spyreas that do quite well. I've got an area of dirt between the spyreas where nothing seems to want to grow. Probably 10-12 feet in length, 3 or so feet deep. Last year, I planted a few vincas, some Lily of the Valley bulbs and I tried a couple of Stepables that were supposedly for shady spots. The Stepables died immediately (don't remember what one was, another was a creeping thyme/mother of thyme). The Lily of the Valley never grew (but I bought the bulbs for a dollar at the dollar store...so might have been duds). The vincas did "okay." They basically stayed the same size, but they didn't die. And they bloomed all summer, one or two blooms per plant. Other vincas in other areas grew like crazy. These just kind of ran in place and never went anywhere. So I'm on the hunt for something that might do well in this spot. I have no idea why it was so troublesome, unless it's the shade. I did fertilize. I should mention I'm in Zone 6 (St. Louis). I was thinking of trying sedum. Have never grown it, nor have I known anyone who did. http://gurneys.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_09094 Would anyone have any other ideas? Thanks. :)
plant ID help

plant ID help

Wrinkly leaves

Wrinkly leaves

Hold your noses…. she’s a bloomin!

Hold your noses…. she’s a bloomin!

bug id

bug id

Proud Gardener

Proud Gardener

Audrey III? Help on plant identification:

Audrey III? Help on plant identification: