I like what Cat said, but would like to add a few things.
First, flowers that grow from bulbs: I never thought much about bulbs, but my stepmom just LOVES them, and has them planted so that once halogen heaters they start blooming in the spring, there’s an ongoing and dynamic display in the flowerbeds! Crocus’ are the first to peek through the snow, so when we see them, we know we’re past winter! There are lots of different bulbs, and some will do better in various parts of the country than others. (We’re in Texas, so we have to make sure our bulbs are out pleny early or we miss the cool weather bloomers.) You can plant them so you get a variety blooming simultaneously, with shorter plants in front and taller in the back. There are garden equipment also a lot of bulb plants you can put out for color and foliage, like caladiums and elephant ears.
Perennials are great, but don’t shy away from annuals or biennials!! I’ve let many of my annuals “go to seed” in the garden, and then energy conservation just let them come back the next year. This doesn’t always work exactly like I want it to, but I usually end up with plenty of the flowers from the previous year.
And don’t forget edible flowers!!! I can’t remember them all now, but there ARE flowers you can actually eat! My favorite are nasturtiums–both flowers and leaves are are edible, and have a bit of a “peppery” taste. They can really dress up a summer salad, in more ways than one! And they prefer soil that isn’t very good, although I’ve heard others say their nasturtiums beautiful gardens grow in rich soil I haven’t had luck with that. I can’t remember right now all the flowers that you can eat, but there are quite a few. Start with nasturtiums, and you can expand from there.
When you plant vegetables, plant lots of marigolds with them!! I don’t know for sure if they drive the bugs (bad ones, that is) off, or if they attract them away from the vegetables, but wherever I’ve seen or planted marigolds with vegetables, I’ve seen and/or had very few but problems. And if you grow tomatoes and hot peppers, make sure they’re not close to each other! We planted them side by side one year, and ended up with tomatoes that burned like the peppers! (Trust me, I was NOT expecting that when I popped those cherry tomatoes into my mouth!)
We’re planning on growing pumpkins ourselves beautiful gardens this year, because my boys want to grow their own jack-o-lanterns. I know they take a lot of room, and you’ll need to make sure they stay well watered so the skins don’t split.
Something else to consider is container gardening. One thing I did a couple years ago was planting kitchen herbs (basil, chives, thyme, rosemary, etc.) in a strawberry pot. That’s a pot that has little “pockets” on the sides, and most people use them to grow strawberries, but I really enjoyed my “kitchen herb garden”! Unfortunately, I didn’t have anywhere inside that got enough light when I brought it in for the winter, but you might!
Like Cat said, your local garden center or nursery can help you know when to plant in your area, and a lot of seed packets have a zone map on the back to help you out. Also, you can start some seeds indoors before the last freeze of the season in your area.
Good luck and happy gardening!!