Answer: It sounds as though you're looking for herbaceous perennials (those that die down with first frost and then sprout new stems in the springtime). Of those that do well in your gardening region, I'd recommend the following:
Achillea millefolium : White yarrow - Because of its spreading habit, this 1? to 3? plant needs space to grow. It prefers well drained soil with some organic matter in full or part sun. Water about once a week depending on weather or soil. Has ferny foliage with white flat flower heads that bloom spring to fall.
Agastache ruprestris : Licorice mint ? Long lived- 2-3? tall and wide, 2? spikes of coral flowers form mid-Summer to early Fall. Full sun to part shade, well drained soil, ample water during bloom period. attracts humming birds and hawk moths.
Centranthus ruber : Red valerian - This hardy perennial is hard to beat for showy bloom in difficult planting areas. Its blue green leaves and bushy habit can reach three feet topped with many deep pink flower heads. Any soil, sun to part shade, drought tolerant.
You might also consider planting gladiolus, iris, and ornamental grasses.
Hope these suggestions help you plan your border.
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