If you have a place in your yard too shady for grass to grow, consider the celandine poppy.
It does well in dappled shade, can survive drought, and spreads by itself.
It has attractive yellow flowers that bloom in spring and early summer. The foliage is also attractive.
It tolerates moist soil, so it's a good plant for a shady rain garden.
However, don't confuse the celandine poppy (sometimes called the woodland poppy), with the greater celandine. You can distinguish the two most easily by their seed pods.
The woodland poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) is native, while the greader celandine (Chelidonium majus) is a pesky invasive species.
Another good plant for shady gardens is wild geranium--with a pretty purple flower.
Both are easy for beginners--and if you plant them by your downspout, they will love it!
More about celandine poppy
Info from the WI Master Gardener Program
Comments on the invasive greater celandine by Steve Glass