I ended up having Eric extend our garden up the side of our front walkway so I'd actually have space to enact this idea. I also thought the pea shrub Eric's parents got us in memory of my dad would look really nice closer to the walkway rather than tucked away at the far end of the garden. Of course I was right. (It's really not too often that I'm not.) I moved a couple hostas over and planted some annuals. There's the before picture up top and the after picture (by after I mean, two weeks later).
Today after breakfast, Eric's mom surprised me with a rose bush she had picked up for me appropriately named the Marilyn Monroe rose. It's an apricot/peach coloured rose. I ended up planting it in the spot where we had originally planted the pea shrub last year, under my bay window. I hope it takes off, it's a beautiful rose and it smells fantastic. It's unfortunate with all the roses that come through our building at work that none of them smell so sweet. They have all just been so over bred that they've just out and out lost their sweet smell.
Et Voila! This is my garden before I got all the annuals planted (well one side of it anyway).