Many of my customers ask me to help them when their grass dies under large trees. Shaded, woodland yards have become my specialty. In the early spring we have many great choices for blooms in shaded yards. These flowers take advantage of the extra light they get when the trees loose their leaves and they thrive during the cool season then go dormant in the summer heat. White yarrow and purple spiderwort, shown in the photos here, are two of these spring ephemeral flowers that thrive in shade in Austin. Oxalis, Columbine and Baby Blue Eyes are also great choices. I typically pair them with a plant that thrives in summer but dies back in winter like Purple Heart or other types of Tradescantia. That way the plants cover each other when one or the other is going through their ugly dormant time.