Have you ever tried Australian natives like grevillea and callistemon (bottlebrush)? There are lots of varieties that suit climates from Queensland to Tasmania (I'm not sure about the snow fields though - all I've seen there are pines and tobacco). Anyway, my 1.5 year old plants reckon spring is coming in 9 days and are starting their displays. The bees are thick on the flowers at certain times of the day.
Anyway, what I like about the callistemon is that I have difficulty killing them yet from neglect and lack of skill. Also, different varieties flower at different times, all year round.