Thanks for the advice Sunny!
I just got back in town from a week-long family vacation and my Rachio has "rain-skipped" every scheduled watering day since the 8th because of rain in the area. Interestingly enough, my Begonias, Ligustrums, Loropetulum and Texas Sage all look great but my Petunias are in poor shape. As a result, I heeded Robert's advice and changed the existing watering schedule to exclude Zone 5 (Side Garden) and created a separate interval schedule for just that zone.
I am beginning to see how important it is to plan out what is planted in which area (not that I didn't believe it**). I had been watering to the needs of the annuals to the point that a number of other plants were affected. I'm not sure what the name of this plant is, but it has very slowly come back since the freeze and it experienced significantly more growth over the past week compared to the last 6 or more months because it was allowed to dry out (or so I infer).
Here are some pictures of the plants in that garden/zone as of 5pm today. The Ligustrums don't look "great" because I did a large amount of pruning and dead-heading before our trip after reading about how that can encourage new growth. They were crippled due to neglect from the previous owner and then the freeze.
As far as the plants from the mall are concerned, you're completely right about the growing season (not that I needed to affirm you*) but the particular change I had in mind was when they changed massive amount of Petunias from multiple colors to just white in mid-April. Then a month later, they switched all those out to Begonias. I'm not sure why they decided to do this but I'd imagine it was a plan passed down from the corporate office. That said, ill quiz him on it and also talk to the head-gardener. It may be ignorant to think this way but I was also thinking it might be a good idea to plant their Begonias (even though they may stop flowering soon after) in our yard with the anticipation of significant "full" flowering the next season. Feel free to shoot down this notion if it's flawed. I was thinking more from an economic point of view instead of seeking full color year round.
I'll definitely check out the flowers you recommended. After seeing how the Petunias impact the rest of the garden, I think they and other Annuals, may not be the best choice for our current watering system.
Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
One last thing I want to throw out there...I wish we could "disable" a watering schedule, so it would be grayed out, without it removing the watering history shown on the calendar. When I inevitably have to change the watering schedule as I learn more and more about watering and my lawn, I'm going to have a long list of old watering schedules that are no longer relevant. I'll check out the suggestion/idea section of the forum to see if someone else has already brought this up.