Planting new shrubs and bulbs may be a bit precarious given the rain situation but the time is now if they are going to survive at all. Transition from cold dry winter to a hot humid spring is rather demanding on the new plants meagre resources, and the change is sudden and dramatic.
Seeking out plants that seem to do well in the neighbourhood is good general advice for the gardener. One of the plants that stands the hot dry summers and always produces a mass of tiny pink blooms is the Tamerisk. Though I have read that in some parts of the USA it is considered an invasive species that damages the local wild habitat.
In our hurry to establish a new garden it is often tempting to strive for an instant effect, and therefore plant larger specimens; though often stronger plants with good form are the result of planting smaller examples and growing them on. There is a particular satisfaction to be gained from watching a garden develop.