There are many popular partial sun flowers that will give any full-sun plant a run for its money. Just because a site has less than a full day's sun doesn't mean you can't still have beautiful blooms. Here are some great options to brighten up your less-than-sunny spot.
Heuchera, or coral bells, form low mounds of foliage available in a dazzling array of colors from the traditional green to more unusual shades like purple, chartreuse, and even some that are a peachy-orange. Two delicious varieties are "Peach Melba" and "Key Lime Pie." Thin, graceful stems rise out of the foliage, tipped with tiny bell-shaped flowers of pink or white. False spirea, or astilbe, have delicate, fern-like foliage and showy plumes of feathery flowers in shades of peach, pink, purple, red, and white. The flowers are fragrant and are good for cutting and using in arrangements. Try "Lollipop" or "Visions in Red." Delphinium, with their finely cut foliage and impressive flower spikes, are stunning additions to a partial sun bed. One of the only truly blue flowers (although also available in pink, purple, and white), some varieties can grow as high as six feet! Look for the two-tone "Guardian Blue" or the darkly elegant "Magic Fountain Purple." Foxglove is a charming biennial addition to a partial sun flower bed. Their tall spikes of cup-shaped flowers come in shades of pink, purple, and white. Most biennials will reseed once established, and there are even some perennial varieties such as Digitalis grandiflora.
When thinking of popular partial sun plants, don’t forget about bulbs. Most bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth, bloom in early spring before trees put out their leaves, so a normally semi-shady bed will get full sun. For areas that still have some shade even in the spring, try Spanish bluebells. Alliums will bloom a bit later than most bulbs and can also take a little shade. Try "Gladiator" for stems that will reach up to four feet, or "Drumstick" for a smaller variety.