I need to plant something on both sides of my driveway entrance. some sun but mostly shady. nothing I plant there works.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If everything that you plant in an area dies, then I would look towards ,first, correcting the issue with the soil. If there is something wrong with the soil that is killing the things that you plant, then Chances are likely that anything you plant there will do the same.
This link will help you to find your local extension service. They will help you test your soil, and figure out what the problem is: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/extension-search/
Knowing neither the climate and agricultural zone nor where you live, makes specific plant recommendations unreliable. To ensure success in your plantings, you need an idea of how many hours of direct sunlight the area gets and how much is in dense shade. Plants rated for partial shade need 4 hours of sun to thrive. If your area doesn't get that much, determine whether it is in dense shade or light, filtered shade. If you live in a dry summer climate, do an internet search "plants for dry shade in Iowa - or wherever you live. Many large nurseries have online catalogues with suggestions for various growing conditions. Make sure plants are hardy in your area. Regardless of what you choose, all perennials need to be watered their first growing season. Plants rated for dry shade will survive after that first year only if watered weekly when there is insufficient rain. It is very difficult to grow perennials where there are mature trees with shallow roots. Maples and junipers are examples. Common plants for dry shade include hosta, Lenten rose, some ferns, some hydrangeas, liriope, foam flower, coral bells and Allegheny pachysandra. Here are more suggestions from a nursery near me: https://www.bluestoneperennials.com/scan/MM=3d4e854da3cdd70c84ada99d217da14f:0:23:24.html?mv_more_ip=1&mv_nextpage=results_2014
To find native plants that are suited for your state, go to Wildflower.org. Near the bottom left of the homepage is a link to state recommendations and other collections. The 2 keys to success are to match the plant to your growing conditions and to water weekly the first year and afterward only during drought.