Right now, some bright spots in the yards are:
"Horizon Monarch" Rhododendron. When we first moved into this home, there were three rhodies in the front yard. All of them were similar to this one, which is one of my least favorite colors. And as much as I like plants and flowers, I'm just not willing to keep them around because they were there. One day my next door neighbor was using his truck and a tow rope to pull out a large shrub from his front yard. I excitedly asked him if he would take my rhodies out too. Out they went!! Shortly afterward, they were replaced (in a different, shadier location) by these peachy-yellow rhodies. I like the color against the house, and like that they're a little different from most of the other rhodies in town.
Rock Daphne "Ruby Glow". It is the most fragrant little evergreen mound I've ever come across. I only bought one because of its spendy price tag (I think 19.99) . The nursery said it wouldn't survive division, so I'd like to propagate (semi-hardwood cuttings, I hear) the plant. I'd really like a couple more of these! Here is a great little guide to propagating plants from cuttings.
"Cecille Bruner" climbing rose. I planted this last year, and am hoping to see some fabulous blooms this year. I love how it's arching over the window frame (a bargain from the Habitat Resale shop).
Rhubarb. YUM!! This plant is in its third year, which means I can harvest all the stalks. The plant experts recommend not taking any the first year, taking up to half the second year, and then from the third year on you can harvest it all.
Erysimum (wallflower) "Apricot Twist". This seems to bloom 10 months out of the year. I'm still trying to figure out if it does best cut back to the ground in fall, or if it's best to deadhead it as it goes. I've tried both, and I think that cutting it all the way back might be more healthy for the plant. What do you all do?