Low maintenance shrubs to grow near house
I was just over in the California forum asking this question and thought I'd copy it here since it is really more of a shrub question ...
We live in a place with scorchingly hot summers (in the 100s for several weeks in the summer, with averages in the 90s). Our house sits smack in the middle of a clearing so there is no shade.
I'd like to plant some shrubs or other ornamental plant around our deck. I think they would need to be non-flowering because my kids spend a lot of time on the deck in the summers and I don't want anything that will attract a lot of bees, unless such a thing exists as a bee-repellent flower.
You'll all have to forgive me because I haven't done much gardening, and when I try I tend to kill things just by looking at them (don't worry, I'll be sure to shield my eyes every time I walk down the deck, haha). So I need tough, forgiving plants and probably also plants that are low maintenance as well as tolerant of heat and full sun. Also probably need my answers dumbed-down. :-)
Thanks in advance!