Shady spot, hostas, want some opinions
I have problems with light sensitivity (among other things) but I have been somewhat better this year (fingers firmly crossed) and for the first time in nearly a decade, I'm able to spend two or three hours outside in the morning and/or evening, or as long as I stick close to shady areas. In my backyard, between the house and the vegetable garden are two large maple trees and a tulip poplar, and I've always thought it was a very peaceful area and wanted to do something with it. I've decided to start on it this year, do a little bit at a time so I don't over do it. I have some photos of the area in question, and wanted to get some opinions or ideas of what I could plant there. These were taken at about 8:30 AM. Each time you click the picture it will get a bit bigger so you can see it and read my tacky text. My house faces almost exactly North, and this photo angle is taken facing mostly East, but very slightly Northeast. I'm hoping to give you an idea of how much sun this area gets. And one facing West, or slightly Northwest. Please over looked the little chair, garden stool and the pile of limbs. I use the chair and stool in the garden, and my husband pruned these trees a bit about a month ago, and we piled the limbs up to chip up for mulch or to give to the inlaws for firewood. And finally, this one is facing South. The little cement poodle ornament is one of several 'headstones' or markers for pets in this area, one of the reasons I've wanted to plant something there to make it prettier. The soil there seems to be very dark and looks like it would be extremely fertile. When we moved here ten years ago, that poplar tree was nearly dead and was little more than a three foot tall piece of dry wood. It got hit by lightening the first time it tried to recover, but as you can see, it's come back with a vengeance. The maples have also grown quite a bit. I know from when my husband had to bury his Chihuahua that there are some massive earthworms in this area, water doesn't stand there, but it does seem to attract armadillos and moles. The grass and weeds that will grow there seem healthy, they are very lush and dark, but the further under the shade you go, the less growth you'll see. I bought some hostas (Gold Standard and Showboat) originally intending to plant them around the base of the trees, but the tags say 'Part Sun- 4-8 hours daily sun' on them. If I put them around the tulip tree, I know they will get some sun, but under the maples, they will get very little and it would be heavily filtered. But hostas should be able to thrive in very shaded areas,right? And I wanted to plant some ferns, too. This year I just want to concentrate on perennials in this area but I thought next year I might plant some begonias or some other flowers than do better with less sun. Any suggestions? Whatever goes here needs to be good in shade, and dog safe, at least anything that might be growing near their fenced in area.