Answer: You have asked a complex question. Your plant selection should be based on a number of factors. First, they need to winter hardy in your zone. Your zip code places you in zone 6B, the coldest part of zone 6. In an exposed and windy location this could actually be as cold as zone 5. (Most Japanese maples would not be reliably winter hardy in zone 5 and they will not tolerate winter wind.)
Then you need to look at the soil conditions. Soil type and drainage conditions are important as are pH and overall fertility. (Japanese maples require an organic and humusy soil that is evenly moist and yet well drained.)
You would also need to look at the size of the area to be planted to allow for mature size of the plants, as well as consider your overall design goals.
I would suggest you consult with your local professionally trained nurseryman as well as possibly your local county extension to analyze the soil conditions and overall growing conditions and based on that, make suggestions about which plants would thrive there and also provide the look you want. Good luck with your planting!
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