Posted: 02/05/2014 at 08:17
I'd agree with pansyface. The overall temps are important as many plants will struggle with those extremes. We all like to see things happen quickly but, gardening requires a little patience! Could you have a look at what your neighbours have in their gardens and perhaps ask them what grows well? Your local library will have books which you could look at to see what shrubs and plants you like the look of and we can the help with advice about them.
The side with the 'ugly windows' could take a climber. Given that the house is very symmetrical, I'd personally frame the front door/under the windows with matching planting. Something evergreen to give you a focal point all year round, and then seasonal interest. If the soil's poor I'd add some well rotted farmyard manure - you can get this in a dried form here in Garden Centres and DIY outlets so check that out. It will improve the growing conditions enormously. If you tidy all the edges of the grass by cutting the turf away to give a neat finish, that will improve the look of your garden immediately. Hope that's of some help initially.