I built a new 12' x 2' planter in my back yard, alongside my deck, which gets mostly shade, so I quickly planted some shade-tolerant perennials: heuchera, foxglove, geraniums, sweet woodruff, and ligularia. The planter is filled with compost (home-grown), composted cow manure, some lobster compost, a big bag of last year's oak leaves, and many bags of topsoil, all blended in with a pitchfork. I plan on adding some annuals once there's no danger of frost. After that, I'll put on a mulch. The wood is 2" x 6" cedar, so it should last a while.