I don't know if our porch posts are doomed or not. I've written https://ask2.extension.org. If they don't answer i'll directly write a county extension agent i know.
Because cmcmck has her gardens to plan, too, here's my initial draft of my little front garden. It abuts the north side of the house so it has plenty of shade, but some sun.
I have strayed from natives, lured by the delights of hellebores and European bugbanes. Yes, there are native bugbanes and i want to grow some of them -- black cohosh -- but they don't have the purple leave genetics of these plants. The thought of the tall dark leaved backdrop (dying back in the winter) with the bright yellow green of Lemon love heuchera ("nativar" -- native plant genetics bred to novel and extreme forms) delights me. Coleus can fill in until the heuchera are thriving. I wonder at whether spring ephemerals can grow in the footprint of the dark bugbanes.
In personal news, i've moped about Wednesday and Thursday. A column in the NY Times about teaching children self-efficacy triggered odd emotions of recognition and loss in me. On one hand, my mother was one of the most marvelous models of self-efficacy one could want. She went into finishing details of our homes, laying floors and tile counters and painting and so on, with aplomb. If there were instructions to be found, you can do it. On the other hand, my procrastination has taught a strange counter lesson. No PhD. Piles of unedited photos. Boxes of yarn for UFOs. Self judgement spirals. A sense of never enough time. Not knowing well how to relax when i need it. Seeing the yard, knowing what we have created here, i have demonstrated i can do things. I was afraid when i moved here that all my dreaming of landscape creating would be dashed by high humidity. But i did it: got out and worked on summer days.
Work to do there with my therapist.