This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
You should not have the slightest difficulty in having your garden gay in August by adopting what is generally termed the bedding system, using the best of scarlet and pink, etc. Pelargoniums, Calceolarias, Verbenas, Alyssum, Lobelias, Alternantheras, and the various colours, would do splendidly in your climate. November is a much more difficult month - about the most difficult - to get a bright garden. Still, after you lift the tender plants named above, much can be done to enliven a garden by having in reserve a stock of Golden and Silver Ivies and Hollies, variegated Periwinkle and variegated Veronica, and shrubs of various hues. Besides these, such plants as Arabis lucida variegata, Arabis albida, some of the variegated Aubretias, in combination with many of the beautiful glaucous Sedums and Saxifrages, such as S. longifolia, S. rosealaria, and others. Then there are Euonymus japonica argentea and E. j. aurea, Pyre thrum Golden Feather, and Alyssum variegated, we should say would be quite effective in your climate in November, and many of the early-flowering Chrysanthemums might be used. For your wall, Magnolia grandiflora, M. conspicua, and M. Exmouthii would be at home in your climate.
Cratregus pyracantha, Chimonanthus fragraus, Wisteria sinensis, Jasminium nudiflorum, Clematis Jackmanii, C. luginosa nivea, C. Princess Mary of Cambridge, C. Lady Bovil, Lycium europeum, Tecana radicans, Ceonothus azureus, Escallonia macrantha, Skimmia japonica, Arbutus unedo crispus, Lonicera tartarica, and we should say Camellias, Myrtles, and Azaleas, would succeed well on walls with you. Get the 'Handy-Book of the Flower-Garden,' which can be had from our office, and see remarks in our present issue.
The other question is one we will not incur the responsibility of attempting to put you right in. Having read book after book on the subject, and failed in your object, it is needless for us to attempt the difficulty, particularly as the subject is one we do not profess to be proficient in.