Ideas for the front of the house

Front of House Faces west/northwest, clay soil, poor drainage, Northern Virginia. I am a beginner.

 

What will grow in front of the fence? The gutter drains there, and the drainage of the soil is poor due to the sidewalk and the soil content having a lot of clay. I was thinking some kind of ornamental grass? There is a type of grass that was there before that is now mostly dead. I believe it is blue moor grass – similar to this. I am open to any ideas though.

 

I am also hoping to put in a crepe myrtle here. They were one of my grandma's favorite plants. However, I'm scared it will grow too large and obscure the house. And perhaps the area is too moist. I know nothing about pruning them/keeping them small or if it is even possible. I could even see myself doing a complete dig out and replant all new because the shrubs don't look the healthiest up against the brick, but I still wouldn't know what to put there.

 

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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