I'm planning a shade garden, & I'd love to have some dwarf conifers in it. The shade I'm referring to is on the north side of my house--no trees around to block the (indirect) light. Most conifers are labeled sun-PART shade. I THOUGHT this area was FULL shade, but read somewhere that it's LESS than full shade (brighter) b/c it's "open to the sky"... Can I treat it as PART shade then?
From your description it sounds as though this area might be suited to conifers that can withstand part shade. If there are no shade trees around, it's likely that the area gets some sun early in the morning and late in the evening through the summer months when the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest.