Because the soil will be dry and hard I would recommend conditioning your soil. Dig a soil conditioner, peat, compost and gypsum (all available from garden centres) through your soil to improve its structure. The plants will grow a lot better if they have a kick start of nutrients. Plants that love the shade and would be suitable for these conditions include astellias, clivias, acanthus, ligularia, day lilies and stachys. They also all have a great range of contrasting leaves.