Perennials/low-shrubs that love sun and heat, amended clay
I am planning to replace the nothing-special spreading Gazania and unknown Daylilies in a sunny (all-day sun) hot strip on a slope of amended clay, flanked by our stone driveway and steps. The steps lead from the street to the door, so the plants in this strip are front and center and need to be neat and tidy.
In our backyard, we have Polygala fruticosa (Sweet Pea Shrub) which is bullet-proof with little water in the heat, but is too tall for these spots. However, I'd like something that tolerates these conditions just as well, but lower, no more than 1-2'. NOT a ground cover, but maybe a collection of Thymes and smallish plants here and there about the size of the foliage of an established healthy Daylily.
I would appreciate suggestions for these conditions. Thank you!