The difference between planting and landscape design comes from paying attention to seemingly unimportant details and one of them is texture. Its impact is even greater in the shade, where very few plants bloom.

A well balanced shade border will have all of the following:

Broad leaved plants, both deciduous and evergreen. If the leaves are variegated and have different indentations, that is even better. A few good examples are hostas, elephant ears, hellebores, rhubarb and chards.

Succulents.

Plants with long narrow leaves - decorative grasses, irises, day lilies, crocosmia, grape hyacinths and lily turf.

Plants with lacy foliage, like ferns, bugbane, wild bleeding hearts, dill and asparagus.

Plants with needle shaped leaves, especially evergreens.
Last, but not least, plants whose inflorescences come in diffuse, cloud-like drifts, like the one in the picture, but also catmint, navelwort, foam flowers, decorative grasses again, and coral bells.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.