Looking great already! I would add a similar but smaller curving border on the other side - it will make the garden look bigger and kids do not need large expanses of lawn. If you are lucky to live in a mild part of Ireland then your options of plants are wide.
I would add Fargesia bamboo as an evergreen backbone for the back of the border and in between put tall perennials like Hollyhock, Delphinium, Eryngium etc between those (Artichoke is a member of the Sunflower family and is cheap to buy lots of 'bulbs' for and they have small yellow flowers - look out for them in shops). Smaller perennials like Rudbeckia, Primrose, Primula and bulbs like Tulips, Daffs, Crocosmia, Crocus etc all add to the cottage look and are all low maintainance. You can get all of those quite cheaply over the next few months as bare roots or bulbs.