Shrubbery advice?

Shrubbery advice?

Hello all, The fellow and I are just starting to tackle the lack of curb appeal to our house (picture behind the cut) which we bought a year ago. We have to do this in mini phases due to the lack of budget and tearing out the juniper bushes and the chain link are in the future. Right now we're working on the bed that's on the right hand side of the house (under the small window) a friendly place--starting with some flowering shrubs for the background. The spindly little Charlie Brown Xmas tree has been removed and planted in an appropriate spot in the back yard so it's really quite empty there right now. Any suggestions would be very welcome...we're looking for something 3-5 feet high that will have long lasting blooms. It's an east facing area (morning sun; afternoon shade; zone 8). Off of the top of my head I'm thinking maybe a mountain laurel or a hydrangea. What would you plant there?
Seedling ID, aloe vera Qs

Seedling ID, aloe vera Qs

Weekly Garden Photos on Flickr

Weekly Garden Photos on Flickr

Looky what my DH surprised me with!

Looky what my DH surprised me with!

success brings hope, hope is not good

success brings hope, hope is not good

One more update :)

One more update :)

Plant ID help!

Plant ID help!