it seems like most plants don't thrive under hot afternoon sun only. Does anybody know any plants that actually like these conditions? For example, along a west facing fence.
what plants like afternoon sun.
Do you grow pentas in CA? The sun can't get too hot for them as long as they get watered.
I'm in Texas and I concentrate on sun-loving Texas Native plants for those difficult hot and dry areas. I would research native plants for your area and zoom in on the ones that stipulate full sun and drought-resistance.
For me in Central Texas, good Western exposure full sun plants include Red Yucca, Texas Sage, many of the salvias, Copper Canyon Daisy, native ornamental grasses, and surprisingly...many of the antique tea and china own-root roses.
Visit a California Native Plant nursery in person, if possible, and find a knowledgeable person to help you select plants that would work for you. Don't forget to explore the possibility of adding some old tea or china roses to your garden, too - not the new hybrids.
How many hours of sun do you get in that area? If you've got at least 4 hrs, then plants like gaillardia, gazania, salvia, agastache, gaura, lantana, any number of sun loving plants ought to be fine. If it gets only a couple hours then it's a little trickier because it won't be enough hours of sun for the sunlovers, but the hot afternoon sun even for a couple hours can be too much for part sun plants.
Sedums, both upright and creeping, Delosperma (iceplants), and Sempervivum tectorum (common hen and chicks)
How many hours of sun? As I mentioned in my earlier post, if you're getting in the ballpark of 4 hrs of sun (or more), you've got a lot of options since you could grow full sun plants there. If you're down to only a couple hours of sun that it gets tricky since sun plants won't get enough hours of sun but shade plants would fry.
First, you are in zone 9a-10a - only buy plants suitable for those zones.
A quick search on Google indicated that there's a native plant nursery - Elkhorn Native Plants - near you off Highway 1 in Moss Landing, CA. They are open to the public between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays, or at other times by appointment. A trip to visit them would be very helpful to you.
A very helpful website from the Las Pilitas Nursery in your area - http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/plant_lists/California_native_plant_A.htm - shows California Natives photos with informative descriptions for each plant. I would concentrate on the ones that do well with little water and full sun. For example, see "Arctostaphylos" - common name Manzanita. There are loads of different varieties ranging from low ground covers to 6' tall shrubs. The descriptions will tell you which ones do best in full sun - see Ian Bush or Sentinel, for example.
I hope this helps. Anne
Thanks folks. this spot gets sun from noon until 5 or 6 right now.
Does CA have state agricultural agents in each county? If so, he or she should be able to furnish you a list of plants that are suitable for your needs. There are lots of "climates" in CA.
Here's a list of some things that I have growing in a west facing bed that bakes in the sun every day from 9-10 AM until sunset: Grevillea (several different species), Salvia (greggii, microphylla, canariensis, and a few others I can't remember), rosemary, Chamelaucium, Isopogon, roses, Echium, Dendromecon, Cassia phyllodinea, Cassia bicapsularis, Callistemon, oleander, Passiflora, Phygelius, Chilopsis, Euryops, Gaillardia, Romneya, Anisodontea, Caesalpinia gilliesii. Your summers are a bit cooler than mine so you probably have even more options.
I'd take a trip to the UC Santa Cruz arboretum, you can probably get some great ideas there. And Sierra Azul nursery in Watsonville would be another good place to check out--they have a lot of great plants that should do well for you, and they've got a nice demonstration garden you can walk through.