Sunny, dry border along house: help please?
I've got to replant the narrow, south-facing border behind my 100+ year old urban house. It is very dry and was exceptionally dry this year due to our unusually hot summer in MN. The wine and roses weiglea in the center actually does quite well and it is the only thing I want to keep (it looks bad in the photo but this was taken when things were pretty much spent). As you see, the two salvia on either side of the space flop terribly and are downright ugly for most of the summer--so they've got to go. Other things there right now that haven't done well are bee balm and a day lily--I want to clear them all out.
So what would you do with this area, keeping the weiglea? I'd love something pretty, neat, but hearty and little-care. Some things I'm considering are dwarf conifers/spruce on either side to give some height and winter interest, or white peonies, or dwarf gold spirea, or little lime hydrangeas, or some type of non-flop purple salvia (are there non flop types), or non-flop sedums. I don't know if any of these would do well in this space nor do I know whether or not something larger on either end (like the conifer) would help "balance" the area. Really, I'm stymied in my decisions and any design help will be very much appreciated! I'm zone 4b, by the way--Twin Cities.