Observe the “Micro Environments” in your Yard
In general, locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are cooler spots. Filtered shade (under trees) are also cooler. Full sun all day requires tough plants. Even if the tag on the plant says full sun, it may not mean full New Mexico sun. The plant also has to stand up to the heat. Afternoon sun can be a hot spot, especially against a wall. Read books, check out sites on the internet, observe plants in your neighborhood, and make a list including the common name and scientific name and bring it with you when you shop for plants.
Used with permission of Otero County Master Gardeners http://oteromastergardeners.com/