There are many plants in the softer tones that may do well - you do need to know what kind of soil you have, when the light falls upon the plot and in what direction it faces - some things need a south or west position, others a more shady or cool north to east situation. If alot of maintenance might be less possible, then such things as nepeta (comes in sizes from 8 inches to a couple of feet or more), salvias, hardy geraniums and other soft textured and coloured plants may be to your liking. Roses come in as many arieties as you can imagine, modern scented disease resitant ones are available - try some rose web sites, you might find some witha name that is appropriate for your area. Putting just a few among other planting looks both pretty and modern, and is is now known that keeping roses apart from each other reduces diseases. If you try something tender, will there be anywhere for winter protection - if not, stick with really hardy things - much dpenends where you are for that, but winters are not likely to get warmer I suspect. Do you wish to be organic? Some things are better than others in that case, although all of my garden and pots is so. Spring bulbs are pretty well a must as the site wakes up after the winter. Putting some in that will come back year on year is a good idea. small shrubs to shelter them when the weather is bad keeps them safe and keeps the site less boring int he winter. There are some good bulb sites out there as well. You need to think very carefully about your hard landscaping - who will use it, do you need access for the less able? Are you going to have any shelter, seating areas, do you want scent? This is a lovely project, so please take your time and get it right to start with, especially the hard landscaping, plants can be moved, other things less easily. There is much to think about and be concerned with, take your time, it is worth it in the end.