I'd be satisfied up here in MA if I were able to grow Gardenia's and/or Camellias for 4-5 years at a stretch before a cold winter killed them back. I have a small yard and don't have too much space for them to get huge anyways. lol.
It's shocking to see pics of your yard w/ no snow, especially after spending a good chunk of today shoveling.
There's a Yucca, Eucalyptus, Rhododendron, and a couple Figs under there somewhere.