Crocosmia 'Lucifer' attracts hummingbirds. Not reliably winter-hardy in Zone 5. Digging up the corms in fall and storing them in a dry medium over winter (in somewhat the same manner as gladiolus) is an option that may be considered.
Pennisetum rubrum en masse.
Smaller Meyer Lemon trees are 50% off. These tropical citrus will overwinter indoors next to a bright sunny window (rotate every few days) and then enjoy the heat of the outdoors come summer.
Tropical hibiscus are now 50% off. These will overwinter indoors next to a bright sunny window (rotate every few days) and look stunning outdoors until mid-September's cooler temperatures.
Annual Black-eyed Susan -Rudbeckia hirta with pink Zinnia and flower of Pennisetum rubrum. The grass is considered an annual in our Zone 5.
Dahlia are considered annual because if the tubers are left in our Zone 5 ground, they will not re-sprout next year. Dig up the tubers after a foliage-killing frost. Let them dry; then, box up with shredded newspaper. Keep in a dry but cool (40 degree) location until mid-April when you can pot them up. If you pot them, water and put in a bright window; you can have a good-sized plant to transfer to the garden after the frost-free date in late May.
Large pots of zonal geranium are a quick way to brighten a blah location.
Coleus can be cut back and will keep putting out new leaves until frost. Take cuttings and root them in water then pot up for pretty indoor color.
This hyssop isn't quite hardy enough for our Zone 5 winters. Great for the pollinators until frost though.
Artichokes add a unique architecture to your annual bed or container.
Pennisetum 'Black Stockings' fountain grass is an annual that grows to about 4 feet and provides an instant backdrop.
Pennisetum 'Black Stockings' with the light shining on the surface.