Posted: 20/01/2014 at 18:32
I find it hard too, without a photo. Click on the green oak tree symbol and be guided how to post a photo, if you have one in your picture files. It takes a bit of time to work so patience.
By all means, if you have a sunny, bare bed sow some hardy annuals, like calendulas, nigella (love in a mist), Californian poppies, clarkia, lavatera, cornflowers, poppies, godetia, poached egg plant etc. Rake to make a tilth, divide into sections, you can use a trickle of sand, or even flour to see what you are doing and sow each variety into a section. Sow in lines so that the seedlings in lines you will know aren't weeds. Then you will have some colour for this year while you decide more long term what to do with your garden. Sometimes you need to live with a garden and find out about it and what comes up. There may be perennials already planted.
Look up on google about plants for damp shade, there are quite a few, hostas, rodgersia, dicentra spectabilis, actaea, monarda, Solomon's seal, astilbe. It would help to add some compost, especially if the damp soil is sticky. But will it still be damp in summer? There's been a lot of rain.
If you want an instant fix in that gap by the decking then fill it with compost and plant it with violas which you should find in your garden centre. It will be pretty until around May/June, while you think about what to do next and if it works.