Wherever we find ourselves, I try to plant native plants that are about as thirsty as the conditions provide for. Growing things in New Mexico is quite different from growing things in London, but I've attempted it in each place + learned by trial + error...lots of error. :)
We have a big planting bed on the side of our house in which I've tried everything from tomatoes + cucumbers (not enough sun) to potatoes (not sure about the work to yield ratio) to a butterfly + hummingbird garden. I prefer plants that produce food to purely pretty things, but food for butterflies, bees + hummingbirds makes me happy too. This year I wanted to have a view of the flowers + their visitors, so I devoted the backyard bed closest to our kitchen window to them as well.
Lately it seems that a new type of flower pops up every day or two in this well-rained-upon tangle of color. The bed hums with bumble bees + I'm keeping an eye out for the first fleeting hummingbird sighting of the year.