Now is a good time to be peeking over your neighbors fence, perhaps to chat and say hello! But really you want to see what plants are doing well in your area now and plan for next year. One such plant is sure to be the Dutch Iris, really they have everything to admire and very little downside. They are discreet, growing tall through other plants and need little maintenance, then they burst in to flags of violet and blue glory or wave like butterflies in a flash of pale yellow.
Buy some Dutch Iris bulbs, even as few as 6-12 will give you joy when planted near the house and should be had for less than $10. You simply plant the bulbs in shade or sun as long as the soil is free draining they will come up year after year. Mine are planted among the garden beds where they will send up 60cm spikes that are hardly noticeable until they bloom in glorious flower and then they fade back into the background until next year.
They blooms will generally last from mid spring to early summer especially if they are sheltered from full sun. I am currently experimenting with nipping off the spent buds to see if it makes them bloom better the following year (a technique used with daffodils to good effect). I leave the foliage to die down naturally as I do lilies so I know where they are when it comes to autumn planting.