I recently designed a yard for a new contemporary house. You can see two stories from the driveway and the front yard is teeny tiny. The challenge was to bring some height to a shady this area that would have no irrigation system. The owner chose corrugated metal as part of the siding, so I commissioned powdered coated steel planters wrapped with corrugated material.
The following plants were planted with shade and low water in mind. They are evergreen/semi-everreen so the front always looks good. I do alot of research when planning areas like this so my clients don’t have to deal with much plant death. They will need to water for the first year or so (in the PNW) and then only when we have a week of 100 degree days.
Taxus baccata ‘fastigiata’ Columnar Yew
Nandina domestica Heavenly Bamboo
Sarcoccoca hookerana humilis Sweet Box
Tsuga canadensis ‘Gentsch White’ Getsch White Candadian Hemlock
Euonymus fortunei ‘Harlequin’ Harlequin Euonymus
Bergenia ‘Winter Glut’ Winter Glut Elephant Ear
Dropteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’* Brilliance Autumn Fern
Polystichum setiferum* Soft Shield Fern
*According to Sunset, these ferns will be fine without much summer water after they’re established if they are in the shade.