|How might I best cope with the hot AZ summers, as well as the winters (can freeze at times). Is there a greenhouse type arrangement that would work for the summer too?|
|Flowers come in three flavors - annuals, perennials, and biennials. Annuals usually bloom and die in one short season. Sometimes you can coax a second flush of flowers by cutting the plant down to within a few inches of the ground after it has bloomed. Many perennials will bloom all season if you pick off the dead flowers. Biennials grow green leaves their first year and flowers their second year.
Usually perennials will die back to the roots in the winter time, but freezing temperatures won'taffect the roots - they're fairly hardy. Same with biennials. In your climate, I'd be more concerned with keeping your containers adequately watered than I would be about the freezing temperatures. Containers lose lots of moisture from evaporation as well as from the plants drinking it up.
Greenhouses can be used in the winter months to keep especially tender plants from exceptionally cold temperatures. I wouldn't use a greenhouse in the summer months, though - it would get too hot formost plants.
If you're growing tropical, or tender plants outdoors in the summer, bring them indoors during freezing weather.