Answer: There are so many choices that I don't know where to begin! I'd use a combination of annuals and perennials in the new bed. Perennials come back year after year but most bloom only for 3-4 weeks. If you choose carefully you can have a succession of blooms all year long but to hedge your bet you might want to put annuals in among the perennials. This way you're assured of having something in bloom all year around. Rather than try to describe the plants that will do well in your gardening region, I've found a few pages from the university that will give you some ideas of what to plant: http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/b944-w.html discusses perennials and http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/b954.htm discusses annuals. You may have to copy and paste these addresses into your browser. You can also print copies of these publications for future reference.
Hope this information is helpful!
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