You don't have to take a class, but if you know what plants are best for your area, you can just stick 'em in the ground and almost ignore them after that (which is the whole idea of xeriscaping.) That's the point in getting climate and growing info first. My bouganvillas are rampant, but they realy love this weather.

Daytime temps here are 55-85 winter, and 80-110 summer. Nighttime is 15-20 degrees cooler. No rain all summer. Winter is our (alleged) rainy season.