Shade Shrubs for front landscape
I live in Virginia and recently purchased a house that I would like to improve on the poor landscaping. I want to focus my effort on the front yard for now since its what is visible and also since I can't afford a whole yard make over. My front yard faces north, and as such doesn't receive a lot of sunlight. There are no large trees in front, just the shade from the house. My question is, what are some good shrubs that don't get more than six foot high that would work well in a shady site like I have. The soil is typical red Virginia clay. I plan on adding compost to it and working it in to improve it, but I don't know that it will drastically change the soil composition.
So far, I have been thinking of yews, barberries, burmald spirea, snowberry, and oakleaf hydrangea. I would like a plant that has good color, flowers, scent, etc. I know that probably no plant meets all of these, but I just don't want a plain, all green hedge in front, I'd like some color and texture variety. Thanks for your help, and I look forward to your suggestions for landscaping my front yard.