Posted: 03/04/2016 at 10:28
Spring flowering bulbs will return each year Xyz. Do you just have a few specimen shrubs or do you have a fully planted border? Bulbs work best planted in and around other shrubs and perennials in a mixed border or bed.
Tulips are the least successful because they need sharp drainage and tend to fade after a couple of years. They won't be so happy in a north facing situation either unless you have enough sun getting to them in spring and summer. Snowdrops and daffs/narcissus will be fine for that aspect and also things like anemone blanda. Crocus will also be fine but they don't open so much in less sun. I don't mind that - I have plenty in a north facing border.
For summer and autumn it's a bit trickier and I can't think of anything other than Colchicum, but they wouldn't look right for that situation - I feel they need some other low level planting round them. You could try lilies, but again, they look best with other perennials or lower growing shrubs to complement them.
You could simply plant some lower growing evergreens which will need very little attention. Pachysandra is excellent in shady areas. You'll get lots of suggestions for that type of planting and you can add bulbs into that too