Watch people use the swing. Mark out your paths to and from the deck. Be generous, allow lots of room for traffic, including missteps (ah, those spiked summer lemonades!).
In the safe-planting areas, loosen the soil with a garden fork -- DON'T cut tree roots -- add three or four inches of compost or loose, rich topsoil, plant shade lovers such as variegated Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'), golden bleeding heart (Corydalis lutea) and mayapple (Podophyllum distichum). Then put 2 inches of mulch on the soil and water, water, water until the plants are well established.
We provide lots of shade plant ideas in our Shade plant lists and related articles on www.GardenAtoZ.com and explain some of the nuances of gardening in the shade in various articles there such as Essential Shade Garden.
We know that designing can be difficult if all you have to go on for visualization are photos in a catalog or the young plants still in pots. To see many of these plants growing, come to our Garden by Janet & Steven at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday June 14 (2014) or to our Summer Secrets workshop on July 18-19 (2014) in a gorgeous shady garden in Berlin, Connecticut and you can see these plants growing.