tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, alliums, crocus and muscari can all go in in Sept/Oct. They'll flower from Jan (snowdrops) to early May (alliums and muscari) You may also like to plant some winter flowering things such as autumn crocus now, also autumn pansies so you get some instant colour.
Shrubs - if your front garden isn't huge you may want to stick to just one specimen shrub, rather than risk it turning into a shrubbery, but with some low growing things like hebe, box, etc?
Herbs are also great for low ground cover. There are lots of nice thymes and oreganos with various flowers in summer, also rosemary has purple flowers in summer. If you plant mint, put it in a pot or it'll take over everything.
For ideas, there are tons of websites. You may want to put in something like "ideas for low maintenance small gardens".
My dh is an obsessive gardener and has just removed the lawn from our large (quarter acre) front garden and planted it as a sort of prairie style, with swathes of gorgeous flowers in hot colours, but it is massively hard work and I rarely see him .
Best to keep it simple if you don't want to spend your entire life gardening