Sprinkle coffee grounds around your vegetables before you water them, you will be activating slow-release nitrogen that will help them grow faster and fuller. Slugs don't like them either! I put coffee grounds and egg shells in my garden all the time.
Lily-of-the-valley is a tough, low-care groundcover you can plant in shady spots. It has a lovely fragrance and nodding white or pink bell-shape flowers. There is also a variegated leaf variety. Lily of the valley is poisonous