Recommendations for a Lazy Gardener?

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/recommendations-for-lazy-gardener.aspx

KCI started the year with high expectations of what I was going to accomplish in my backyard this year—elaborate plans for busting sod and growing flowers, herbs and a few vegetables. The list grew with each new seed catalog I received. 

Now, after spending the month of February dealing with unanticipated health issues, I’ve realized that I need to get rational and scale back, to honor my body’s need to recuperate and to follow my doctor’s advice to take it easy!!! He actually spoke in exclamation marks! (I had surgery and some complications afterward but am now happily and gratefully on the mend, thanks for asking.) 

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The enormous, vibrant 'Moulin Rouge' sunflower is a Samurai Sage favorite.
Photo by Melissa Sanders/Courtesy
Flickr  
 

I’m feeling well, but am surprisingly weak and easily tired. My natural inclination is to push and push, darn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. In this case, that strategy will get me nowhere fast and is almost guaranteed to prolong my recovery period, according to Dr. Dire Warnings.  

So … I’m scaling back on the garden and am going to focus on 1.) plants with pretty flowers; 2.) lots of color and 3.) the most easy-care plants I can come up with.  

I’m going to have a four-foot wide strip dug up around three sides of the wooden fence that encloses my relatively small back yard. (I am even going so far as to hire someone to do all the hard stuff and heavy lifting. I feel positively debauched.) 

The only things I know for sure will be in the space are some lovely, enormous sunflowers (‘Moulin Rouge’), some coneflower and black-eyed Susans, maybe wildflowers, morning glories and moonflowers, plus lemon balm, mints, and a few more cooking herbs, though I might put these in pots around my front and back doors. 

Beyond that, I’m open to suggestions. What herbs and flowers do you recommend for a low-energy gardener looking for pretty, good-smelling and easy-care plants?