April 21, 2022: Answer 1
Dear Neil: What plants could I use against the west side of my house to soak up the sun and heat in the summer? G.E., Abilene.
There are several good plants or groups of plants that can handle full Texas sun, even from the west and even in the summer. The exact choice would depend on what other plants you have nearby and the heights of plants you want. Some of the best include junipers, most hollies, abelias, elaeagnus, crape myrtles and nandinas. You could also put a strong-growing vine such as Madame Galen trumpetcreeper or Lady Banksia rose on a very sturdy trellis.