Starry Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum stellatum) and Wild Currant (Ribes americanum) are both useful plants for the native shade garden, or any shade garden for that matter. They are blooming now in our own place. They are not spectacular, but they are beautiful in their own quiet way. Adaptable to a variety of light and soil conditions, they can help provide a sense of fullness and green abundance even in areas of dry shade.
Somewhere it is written that foundation plantings must be evergreen shrubs (Yews, Boxwood, and the like). and that these shrubs must be clipped into geometric shapes. Judy and I, however, have defied this commandment and have come up with a different sort of foundation planting: Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and allied perennials. I would also consider grasses, but the front of our house faces north and is in quite a lot of shade.
I don’t believe in coincidences. It cannot be just chance that so many of our best backyard bird sightings happen on or the day before Mother’s Day. I’m convinced that these rare appearances are a gift from one mother to another, namely from Mother Nature to Judy.