Shrub for deep shade?
I have a woodland garden (zone 5a) in deep shade (only the occasional dapple, never direct sun) underneath oak, maple and hickory trees. It is a slightly raised bed with good soil. I tried growing an azalea and a rhododendron as well as a hydrangea, but they all have failed. I'm looking for a pretty shrub or bushy plant that will grow 1' to 2' high to serve as the apex of this little garden, around which I will plant caladium and begonias.
In this area, spring is moist, but late summer and fall are quite dry. The winters can be quite bitter, and I usually mulch the beds with chewed-up leaves. Vinca does well here, and hosta does OK too though things get a bit dry. Begonias seem to be happy, as does ivy. Should I just plant another hosta? Would saxifrage or lamium or Snow-on-the-Mountain work? Suggestions?