Utilize Groundcovers. Take advantage of low-growing groundcovers that crowd out weeds to make your shade garden easier to maintain. As an added bonus, many varieties provide an attractive carpet of color (such as this golden creeping Jenny, which practically glows underneath a planting of blue hostas, purple coleus, and black mondo grass).
Care for peonies that droop to the ground. In the fall, after the leaves die back, cut the stems down to 3 inches. Place peony supports, available at most garden centers, in the ground around the emerging stalks in the spring.