I love petunias. I did the same thing last year, too, Dawn.
I got a couple and they did so well that I went back and bought a ton more.
It was terrible. We had them everywhere. I got some double petunias, too. And those were beautiful.
DH is partial to geraniums.
I like violets and violas for the early spring. And pansies, too. They don't tend to tolerate the hot summer sun well, though.
I planted tulips and hyacinths, and since they're a bulb, they've come back every spring and done well. I don't really have to do anything to them. But they don't last long.
Hostas are good for the shade, and they're pretty hardy. But they're more of a greenery thing for the shade. I have never had any, but I think I'm going to get some this year.
Some of them have flowers that bloom and some don't.
I got double impatiens last year for the shade out back. They did pretty well. If I could have kept the cats from sleeping in the flower bed, they would have done better. LOL!