This is a shady back yard in the West Village, a lot of the plants are dying and unhappy. (Annual ferns, microbiota, some bamboo...)I inherited this client from a former co-worker, and while there to do maintenance last week she told me she wanted plants that would make it wild and jungle-like.. Just no more Hostas!
First I removed all of the existing plants and put them aside. Then I mixed 3 bags each of compost and soil conditioner into the soil which turned out to be a whole lot of gravel and sand! The big wooden "sculpture" is actually a play structure the clients liked a lot so it was partially disassembled and left (their son is 16 now!)
Some things I chose for this install: ostrich and maidenhair ferns, hakonechloa, tricyrtis, campanula, cimicifuga, monkshood, polygonatum odoratum and humile, some coleus and abutilon as annuals.
Sambucus Racemosa (Elderberry) with a 3' leaved monster I forget the name of, starts with a "p" - I'll re-post later what it is...
I decided to prune heavy and pot up the clumping bamboos since they were pretty unhappy and half dead, I think they're come back around!