If you're looking for a colorful, blooming ground cover for areas under deciduous trees, consider planting Corydalis.
Corydalis is a poppy-family wildflower related to Bleeding Hearts that grows wild in open areas but can also be cultivated in the garden. The most common and hardiest type has pink or white flowers. Corydalis loves to spread; once happy in a partly shady area, it can self-sow and create a carpet of color in just a few years.
This week's tip: cut pussy willow branches now for bringing indoors. If you want to keep your pussy willow shrub compact, remove dead and diseased branches and old, grey colored ones that are getting too woody. Prune back the remaining branches to the desired height to stimulate more new growth and pussy willow catkins for next year.