Whether or not you have a shade problem, there are some basic gardening tips that should be applied to every garden or landscape design.
Purpose - what's the purpose for each part of your garden ?
Theme - there should be several features that are common throughout your garden that provide a sense of unity.
Structure - trees and shrubs, in addition to hardscaping, provide structure to a garden; much the way bones provide animals structure and form.
Contrast - contrast applies to the color, size and shape of flowers, foliage, bark textures, stones and hardscaping.
Color - color is very personal thing. However, there are several rules of thumb regarding color: