Any plant recommendations for a weird microclimate?

Hi all -- I have a space right off my patio that desperately needs some perennial plant life. However, it has a strange microclimate, so I'm not sure what perennials would work there. I'm in the Washington DC area, USDA Zone 7. The space in question is about 4'x'4' and borders a white wall on one if its sides and a wood privacy fence on another. That area gets full sun pretty much all day during the height of summer, but it gets almost no sun at all in late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall. Because of the weird sun/shade ratio, I've never been successful at growing grass there, but last summer I had good luck with zinnias and petunias. The soil was clay, but it's been amended pretty well with a mixture of Miracle Gro garden soil/potting mix. I'd like something that blooms, but I'd be OK with some small shrubs or flowering bushes around which I could plant annuals. I do really want perennials, though, for the regeneration factor. Day lillies are an obvious choice, but I already have several varieties elsewhere in the back yard so I need something different. Any ideas for me? Thanks in advance!
Rhonda Alexandria, VA USDA Zone 7
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On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 18:50:13 -0500, Natty_Dread wrote:

Get a soil sample first and then make recommended corrections.
Clematis works. They need cool feet, so you need to provide some sort of shading around the base of the plant.
Festuca Elija Blue is a nice clumping bluish green grass. Heuchera Palace Purple contrasts nicely with the grass.
Prairie dropseed and Little Bluestem are both grasses that would do okay.
Rudbeckia works.
A nice ground cover with the unexpected popping up here and there might be nice.
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