(Always open to revision...)
Would like to try:
-- bee balm
-- hostas (maybe?)
-- black-eyed susans (if the ones I planted this year don't return)
-- Red-Hot Pokers (a.k.a. "Torch-Lily")
-- Dianthus (a.k.a. "Pinks")
-- Sea Holly (Eryngium)
-- Russian Sage (Perovskia)
-- Blanket Flower (Gaillardia, maybe not best for highest heat and humidity)
-- Honeysuckle (non-invasive form)
-- Hostas? (Do they like our climate?)
Had success with:
-- begonia (in pots)
-- impatiens (in ground)
-- cleome (plant toward back of beds)
-- portulaca (moss rose)
-- cosmos (were ok-- giants bloomed late but were HUGE)
-- raspberry canes (Donald's area of interest)
-- new-fangled squash ;o) (Cucurbita moschata)
~~~~Ball squash. evergreenseeds.com -- Hybrid Green Ball Korean Squash. kitazawaseeds.com -- Korean squash called Early Bulam, Teot Bat Put hybrid ball squash.
~~~~Trombone squash (Tromboncino squash, among other aliases). Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.southernexposure.com).
1. Something behind bay window roses... Right up to the wall. Hardy daylilies would probably be nice, but not likely this year. Maybe put a row or two of sturdy annuals back there. Marigolds? And/or could put row of pots filled with a drought-resistant annual. Portulaca comes to mind.
2. Maybe try some annual vines on "fence pillars" or homemade obelisks. Vertical elements for the flower beds? Or will the vines be too invasive/encroach over nearby plants?
3. Could line exterior edge of back porch with potted drought-resistant annuals. Not sure what, but something to make the view out the back a little nicer. Portulaca... Succulents... Aloe (assuming they survive the winter)... I wonder if chives would mind the heat and sun? Maybe Spanish/pinata lavender, if it's sunny enough.