1. Bedding plants up front.
LOTS. You can buy them(expensive) or start them indoors from seed, but two shifts of annual bedding plants are the cornerstone of a ‘showy from outer space’ flower bed. I like pansies blooming from October to May and I have a huge pile of marigolds in newspaper seed packs–just germinating, ready to bloom me out from the end of May through October. They take a little dead heading from time to time, but it’s worth it.
2. Evergreens in the middle
Mostly for winter. Just a few. I use oregano, sage, rosemary, baby holly hocks, my climbing rose, and a wax leaf viburnum. With the pansies and my crisscross lattice, they aren’t really necessary, but they still help out in January.
4. Something spectacular in the back for summer.
My hollyhocks are the envy of the neighborhood come June. They grow seven feet high and bloom like a fireworks show. There’s nothing like an explosion of flowers to make smile when you pull in the driveway.