Plant choices for community islands/medians
I've been lurking here for a bit and recently I've been asked to help resolve some landscaping issues in my community.
The problem is with the "islands" in our cul-de-sacs. Currently they a pretty barren with half dead dirt and grass, and some have 3"-4" maples. These areas do not have irrigation so I am trying to figure out some combination of low plants and ground cover that would be low maintenance and tolerant to sporadic rainfall. I live in the Kansas City area so we have hot summers (sometimes with extended drought periods) and cold winters.
My first thoughts would be to get rid of the grass completely, and maybe go with some short bushes with mulch or some sort of ivy ground cover. Adding in some color in the form of flowers would be an extra bonus.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I haven't been able to find any good resources for these types of areas.