I can recommend some growing season options for you but in winter you may need to retire the containers as that much cold is going to be too hard on the roots of a plant in an above ground container. That west exposure is indeed a challenge. If you tried roses but couldn't water them enough it may be that the containers need to be larger or the potting soil better at holding moisture. That said, you might try bulbine, Blackfoot daisy, or a Tiny Tower Itallian Cypress (may be hardy enough to overwinter with some protection.
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