sand in my shade garden
We just moved into a rental house and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about creating a garden from the neglected yard. Someone filled cracks against the entire foundation with pure sand. Though the sand is level with the rest of the yard..it comes away from the house 2-4ft, and is anywhere from 4-8" deep.
There is a long stretch about 20-25ft against the north facing front of the house that is completely bare of vegetation that I'd like to see filled in hopefully this season.
My two main questions are:
1. Is it possible to dig out a hole in the sand, fill that with quality soil/organic matter, dig out a smaller hole.. then plant something inside that hole..then cover with mulch?
2. Which full shade plants could I then plant in those holes that would spread far enough to fill the area in?
My first thought was to build a complete raised bed..thought that doesn't seem very cost effective. Theoretically, I'd like something that would get at least 3-4ft tall, and be reasonably interesting. A grove of elephant ears or bleeding hearts perhaps? This area also gets runoff from the roof, and seems to stay fairly damp so far.
Here is a link that might be useful: front yard