We love Acanthus plants. They are hardy, will thrive in shade and they have beautiful flowers in late summer. I grow them under trees, in pots and in a shady border - they're mixed with Dicentra in my garden but they can crowd other plants out so be careful what you match them with.
Acanthus require very little care. If they get too hot or too cold their leaves flop down but they tend to bounce back quite quickly. They can suffer with powdery mildew. If this happens we'd suggest cutting all the leaves off and disposing of them in your bin (not on the compost heap) - they're pretty hardy so they'll regrow. Be mindful of where you plant them, they're not easy to remove once they're in place; they will regrow from the smallest chunk of root.