The problem is that the areas where shade plants would do well is s also where the English Ivy smothers everything I try to grow there except for a couple of shrubs that I manage to keep clear so they don't get strangled. The more I pull it up, the faster it seems to grow back.
I can grow a few flowers in the front bed, but very few.
In the back yard, I am in a constant battle with, thimble berries, stinging nettle, mint, and berry brambles. Last summer I put down a thick barrier of weed cloth and covered it with 6" of bark chips. All four have pushed through it and are trying to take over again. Every time I pull, it lifts the barrier and gives it an easier place to send new runners underground. Round up doesn't touch it. It kills the leaves on the surface but never reaches the underground runners. I'll keep pulling it up as long as I have the strength...I have to keep it accessible fot the pups to romp.