Today I weeded ferociously for a good 3h and got out of it about 3 square feet of bare dirt. And that no doubt is temporary, since I know I didn't get all the roots out. Man, lily of the valley is a lot more pernicious than it looks.
I have, randomly, a red-osier dogwood growing right next to the pine. I was happy to see this, since I have no objection at all to bird-feeding berries and nice red twigs for the winter. Strange place to plant it, though. Apparently low-lying branches will root themselves; I pulled up one branch that was attempting this feat and redirected it so it goes around the pine instead of into the spot I want for the lilies. Google, however, tells me that dogwood thickets can get pretty massive, and now I'm not sure what to do with it; I don't think it has enough room where it is, unless I send it in the other direction to do battle with the hydrangeas, and I'm afraid it would be the loser in that fight (considering that it was totally invisible until I chopped the hydrangeas down). Maybe I could try digging it up and moving it over to the west bed, since I've been wondering what to put over there for some height at the back? Easier said than done, I suspect...well, whatever I dug up would no doubt grow happily in the west bed, but I bet any root pieces left behind under the tree would ALSO grow happily.
Planted the anonymous bigass thing next to the maybe-a-spirea; planted the solomon's seal in the west bed, next to the fence where there's near-total shade; planted the filipendula between dogwood and lilies, since it's supposed to reach about 3.5' tall; planted the red sempervivens in the front yard where they will hopefully spread and fill up an empty spot under the yew. Still hemming and hawing about where best to put the others. The little alpine doodads will probably go in the front yard too, since it's drier there and there are better-defined places for tiny border plants. This is sort of my problem with the remaining shady stuff, since most of it keeps a pretty low profile but it's all interesting-looking enough that I want to be able to see it. I suppose I could just throw them all into the west bed for now and move them around or divide them once I start to get things more straightened out...not like that's going to happen very quickly, after all, and I may as well give them the chance to multiply a bit.