I am not sure whether you have had this experience but in each of the places I have gardened, there is always one particularly challenging feature. This is about plants that solve three common situations.
Planting a heavily traversed corner beneath a large oak tree:
A good friend lives on a lively corner where the garden gets oodles of passersby, pets and kids playing. On top of that, a nearby oak tree shades the area and sends roots out along the ground surface. Despite the challenges, my friend planted a lovely corner bed featuring a native dogwood (Cornus Florida f. rubra) underplanted with a mix of natives and ornamentals. Dogwoods are understory trees so planting a younger dogwood beneath the canopy of a mature oak tree seems like a great choice. Two types of coral bells (Heuchera), blue fescue (Festuca glauca) and several ornamental hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) turn what could be a trodden corner into a neighborhood gem of a spot. The mix of textures, layering of natives with ornamental hydrangeas and selection of plants that do well in dappled shade make this a problem solved! It’s also a great example of how to blend favorite ornamentals with natives.