A good bang for your buck at your local nursery is Mexican Heather.
You can get the small 6″ pot and in no time, it will be 3 foot x 3 foot. It looks great in the front of flower beds or on the edge of ponds. We have some that get the morning sun and some that get evening sun. I do not think they mind as long as they do get some sun.
Our heather plants bloomed all year-long. Our winter was so mild that they even bloomed through it.