I am not a landscaper but this is what works for me.
Drive around and look at what works for other people. Find a street with western exposure and make notes as to what is planted there and how well they are doing.
You also may find someone in your area that spends a lot of time gardening. Most of these people are more than happy to share their experiances. I have a retired guy across the street that spends all day in his yard and garden, he is a fountain of info.