need help with choosing plants

planning a backyard makeover, need help choosing plants for partial to full shade, Want lots of color though and minimal maintenance (I am handicapped). Complementing a water garden too.
I made a youtube video for a contest and within it it shows my backyad layout. You can see it at youtube, and a search of : MEIJER EVANS I'll leave a link, but doubt it will work because of no follow rules.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?vBAKQWWuEvM

At any rate, any assistance would be appreciated.
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Off the top of my head. Where are you?
Prunus species such as cherries require full sun. Birch and cherry are natural succession after a response to a tornado in old growth in Pennsylvania. Cornus florida - dogwood - is a tree that requires some shade such as it would receive in understory situation. Birches require full sun and the require some water during dry times. The trees have their stomata's stuck open so their is constant transpiration. Full sun and a moderate amount of water, just enough to moisten the non-woody absorbing roots in the upper four inches of soil. BTW trees absorb water with essential elements dissolved in it. Essential elements such as N, P, K, Fe, B etc. If you are in the right area and you have land, you could plant a weeping beech. They require at least and area the size of a basketball court. I would also look in natural areas near you and see what species are growing there. Sun and shade is an important unique requirement of individual species.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.

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