Because the north-facing wall of a home generally receives little sun, shade plants are recommended for planting beds on that side of the house. However, not all so-called "shade plants" necessarily have to avoid the sun as if they were the plant world's equivalent to Count Dracula!
Many shade plants can take quite a bit of sun, provided that they are watered adequately. I have witnessed beautiful displays of the annual, impatiens growing in relatively sunny areas. Usually associated with shady spots, impatiens will thrive in partial sun; watering requirements will obviously rise in such a location.
If you prefer a short perennial for your north-facing wall, try hosta. Increased sunlight changes their leaf colors, but hosta would still be a good low-growing ground cover for your north side.
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