planting beneath a cedar

We are planning a garden beneath a cedar tree that stands beside our garage--largely because we have given up, after a few years, of trying to keep the grass looking good (two dogs don't help much, but it's the cedar that seems to be the culprit). The area, because of the cedar and a number of other trees, is in the shade most of the day.
In looking through previous postings, but none very recent, some suggestions have been hostas, major and minor vinca, English ivy (probably won't use), and spurge. We are also planning on moving a pond from another part of the yard to this garden so we can better enjoy it.
Any suggestions on water plants and plants for the soil would be greatly appreciated. Perennials rather than annuals are preferred. We are in Spokane, WA, about 2000 feet above sea level, 14 or so inches of rain a year, and fairly cold winters with a good bit of snow normally. It seems we are in zone 6, with winter lows hitting 0F give or take a bit.
We have lots of ferns in the yard. Would these do well? I don't know their type. Anyway, Thanks.
Bradley
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As a fellow Spokanite, I guess I should insert the notion that the "cedar" tree in question is probably a native Western Red Cedar (Thuja sp.) rather than a true cedar (cedrus sp.) which are very rare here. The more common ferns found in Spokane gardens would do fine - as long as you will supply extra water. The cedar is going to suck up a lot of moisture from the soil, and so some additional moisture will be needed by the ferns. There are some water plants that will do fine in a shady pond, but most of the ones that have pretty blooms need a fair amount of sunlight. P.S. Happy gardening here. Aren't you enjoying the glorious weather we have had the past week? Gardens are just exploding with color.

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Epimediums. Asarums. Hardy cyclamens. May-apples. Wintergreen.
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