Posted: 22/05/2013 at 12:45
Agree that ferns, Hostas & Mahonia will all do well.
Dont forget though that the very end of the garden, unless shaded by the house, will actually be S facing & so should get more light. That can influence the choice & success of some plants. With that aspect the best colour will usually be in the spring when any overhead tree canopy is less.
Heucheras, hardy geraniums- lots to choose, spring bulbs, tellima, epimediums, lamiums, vincas- the last 3 all excellent ground cover. Bergenias, ajugas, japanese anemones.
If soil acid/neutral then for shrubs- azaleas- lots of sizes & colours available. Skimmias, forsythia, acuba, chaenomeles- ok may not flower as well as if in sunnier spot. Ribes too. Hydrangeas- the lacecap types good if some soil moisture. I've even got a couple of Weigelias in N & NW facing borders. They both get some extra light from the side aspects & do well.
Hope that gives you some ideas. J.