New to gardening

New to gardening

Hi everyone. My name is Amanda and in June 2009 my husband and I bought a home. It is a duplex style so our front and back yard are pretty much the size that you would get if you bought a townhouse. Last fall we had our entire backyard redone because it was 99% weeds. We had a landscape company come in and put down all new soil and seed and it looks AMAZING!!!

This spring I want to work on our front yard. With the economy the way it is we do not have the option to hire someone so I will be doing it myself. I am hoping you all can assist me with what to do and options. Here is what I know about my front yard. We have 3 rose bushes in the garden plot in front of our house by the stairs. In the middle of the front yard we have a Flowering Cherry Tree with pink blooms. I noticed today something is beginning to grow around the base of the tree about 6 inches away so I will have to wait to see what those are.

Please help me.
What flowers/plants would compliment a rose garden area? Each bush is a different color (red, pink and yellow if I remember correctly).
What would look good around the Flowering Cherry Tree? The previous owners already created a round gardening area around the tree.

Also, they put what seems to be a tarp of some sort under the top soil. It is tattered to pieces. Is it there for a reason? Is it ok if I remove it completely?

I would appreciate any help you all can give me. I live in Northern Virginia just South of Washington, DC in USDA Zone 7. I am sure that will help you out. Thanks in advance!!!

PS> The first picture is the front and at the top of the stairs you can kind of see where the roses are. The second is the tree and you can see the tarp.
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