Plant Suggestions for Very Harsh, Hot Bed
I have a West facing, 6 ft wide x 29 ft long bed. My driveway is adjacent to one of the long sides. The other long side is abutted by my neighbor's mostly weedy lawn and a dying Eastern Red Cedar (read that as "not much shade"). The short westernmost side faces the roadway, with a small easement in between. There are no big trees across the road (all lost in the 2007 ice storm) so there's no chance of any mitigating shade. This poor bed started out with mugo pines and all have died but 2 and I don't expect them to last much longer. This poor bed endures incredible heat and direct sun that is not helped by regular watering.
I have tried all sorts of plants in that area, many natives, all full sun, and most have died, or if they don't die, they just look bad. Things that seem to be enduring at the moment are 3 Dynamite crepe myrtles, rain lily, 3 Blaze Little Bluestem grass, a Prarie Fire Carex. Three artemisia are surviving but don't look great. I have both dark and golden moneywort, both of which start out great but have burned up by midsummer. I've tried guara, gaillardia, Russian sage, blue flax. I could go on. I've just put a clump of black eyed Susan and a clump of coreopsis (both have done well in my back yard) to see how they will do.
I know this is a LONG message, but for those of you who have persevered through it, I would embrace any suggestions for smallish plants or ground cover plants that might survive. When the remaining mugos die, I'll have room for a shrubbier plant. Remember this is a long thin bed.
PS: Annuals? Fuhgeddaboudit!