Hostas & other perennials for a shady yard
I have convinced my Brooklyn friend that since a large tree is increasingly overshading her postage stamp yard, perhaps we should stop planting annuals around her big ball-shaped bushes (2 such bushes) and go for perennials like HOSTAS ("What is a hosta?"), heucheras, and the like. We've been sticking to impatiens like forever, and this past season, the powdery mildew put the kabosh on THAT. So we put in something else I don't even remember, and I'm sure it was not as spectacular a flower display as we usually get. We can still plant (and I do, since I'm her gardener) the 3 long planters on top of the porch wall with colorful sun-loving annuals, since this is not shaded by the tree.
She may very well want some stuff with bigger flowers than hosta to augment the hostas. I'd like to put in a "skeleton crew" of hostas for her (the area to be planted is about 12-15' of perimeter around the 2 big ball-shaped bushes she has) and fill in between the hostas with some big color. I don't know if some of the very colorful heuchies will do for her, or if I will need some actual BIG flowering stuff. There is not room for giant hostas such as Empress Wu, etc. Haha, that would take up her whole yard! Suggestions for 20" diameter hostas? And, what big-flowering shade-loving perennials might be suitable for between the HOSTAS?