I've got dry shade at my summer place at Lake of the Ozarks, as well, and I'll tell you what works for me. First, I keep plantings to a minimum so there's little maintenance. Then here's a list of plants that will do well in dry shade: Yew (Taxus species), daylilies (Hemerocallis), Cranesbill Geranium (G. sanguineum), Epimedium, Bleeding Heart (Dicentra), Deadnettle (Lamium), Pachysandra, and Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis). All of these will fare well on their own once they're established. When planting a new shrub or tree, I use a 5-gallon bucket with a tiny hole drilled in it to soak the ground deeply. Then I tuck the buckets away before we leave for the weekend.
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