advice for starting a sunken desert patio garden (Phoenix)

advice for starting a sunken desert patio garden (Phoenix)

Hello! I just joined and am looking for advice. I've been a somewhat successful office gardener for the past five years, with two bromeliads, a philodendron and several of her offspring, and even a few flowering basil plants I planted on a whim and managed to grow inside in partial shade. Nutty! I had an awesome croton, but lost it after I moved to a shadier office. At the end of May, I'm moving into a little sub-level condo with a sunken patio (crossing fingers that the sale goes through). Some parts of it get some direct sunlight, but only for a bit. It's otherwise fairly shady. There are some little patches of dirt around with a healthy oleander and a couple of lantanas. I'm hoping to do some container gardening down there, and I'd like to do herbs. Does anyone have some top-of-their-head advice on what would do okay? I doubt I could pull off a basil repeat, as my office basil at least gets direct sunlight in the late afternoon/evening. A few easy veggies would be nice, too. My intuition tells me that none of this would do so well without plenty of sun, though. Thanks in advance!
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more funky carrots

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Painting help.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

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Sad, sad bougainvillea and coleus

okra

okra

Plant ID?

Plant ID?