When faced with a hot, dry, seldom watered area of the garden, most people automatically think of succulents, and specifically, Hens and Chicks. While it is true that sempervivums are well suited to those conditions, it's important to know two things. First, Hens and Chicks need to get established in their new environment in order to become drought-tolerant, and that means watering them on a regular basis for probably six months, unless the area gets frequent rainfall. Second, Hens and Chicks don't like soggy roots, so the soil should be well-draining, even gravelly, for best results. Clay soil is quite common in the Portland area, and unless it is amended, chances are your succulents will die because of root rot when the winter rains start.
That said, Hens and Chicks are an excellent choice for rock gardens, retaining walls, xeriscapes and yes, container planters, hanging or otherwise. 'Pacific Trails' is an especially eye-catching variety because of its downy, red to maroon rosettes with green centers. The color will change throughout the year as the weather changes. This variety tends to form dense clumps, with chicks growing close to the hen. As is true of all sempervivums, once a "hen" blooms, it will die, but there are usually lots of chicks to take its place.