Posted: 01/02/2016 at 16:08
I am confused [ nothing unusual there ]
Did you put the soil back on top of the wood chip?
Was the wood chip well rotted? Otherwise it may well have a high nutritional content, but would tend to "burn " plants until it was rotted down.
Planting into a sponge is only any good, if you want to grow bog plants, otherwise plants may drown.
As others have said, woodland plants need some shade, what you have is a sunny border, and should be planted accordingly.