Help, pls: full sun preschool garden (around small sign)

Wellesley Hills, MA

Hi, friends,

I'm a slightly amateur gardener in MA, outside of Boston. I'm going to make a small garden around the sign of my daughter's preschool which hopefully can happily herald people and kiddies into the school in all seasons. It needs to be relatively low maintenance, mostly perennial, somewhat drought tolerant, in full sun, some winter interest, and if possible, not too attractive to stinging insects (we've had problems with wasp and hornet nests in the school yard and subsequent stings). Can anyone recommend something? For evergreen, I considered hinoki cypress which has a bright, cheerful feel no matter what the season. I also considered some native, tall coneflowers, plume poppy (to be kept in check), feather reed grass (zebra would have been fun but might cut little hands), coreopsis groundcover, yellow or red twigged dogwood, underplantings of daffodils and spring and fall crocuses.... any thoughts, anyone?

Many thanks in advance!

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