New Zone! Help!

New Zone! Help!

I'm originally from the Gulf South, and I guess I got a little spoiled. Everything was so easy to grow, green surrounded me year-round, and many plants flowered in both spring and fall. As long as everything was kept watered, life was good. I just (Dec/Jan) moved to Zanesville, Ohio (Zone 6, edge of Zone 5 according to some maps/oldtimers). I have *no* clue where to start. I don't know times to start things from seed (or is it too late?), or when to buy, or, well, anything. I haven't been able to scout out the small local nurseries yet, which I'm sure will have more information - because the bigger "garden center" staff are clueless. I waited for almost 20 minutes when I first moved here before someone could even tell me which zone I was in, much less what works for gardening here. Is there anyone on the list that's kinda local (or familiar with the zone) who can help? What are some, if any, plants that will give me the longest "lush" impression in an area that's only green 6 months out of the year, if that? Where are you with preparations/planning/planting this time of the year? Help! Warning: I'll probably be posting pics soon of mystery plants in our yard, or some things that I'm clueless about (pruning times/procedures, etc). TIA!
Studio Vs. One Bedroom

Studio Vs. One Bedroom

The Garden Bench – a very photo heavy post

The Garden Bench – a very photo heavy post

African Impatien

African Impatien

my abode

my abode

Where Oh Where Did I Go Wrong?

Where Oh Where Did I Go Wrong?

Tomato Plant Question

Tomato Plant Question