You have some really dry shade, I am guessing, and these are the four or so plants I use when all else fails (actually, I like all of them very much). Hellebores, epimediums, Geranium macrorrhizum, Trachystemon:
Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.