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HEAVY Clay Soil and Full, Afternoon Sun

16 years ago


I have been an avid indoor gardener for many years, but in the last year have begun to venture to outdoor gardening.

I put in some landscaping last year with the help and advice from a friend who works in a garden supply center. One year later, I'm not so sure the plants we selected are the best for my yard.

I live in central VA - zone 7. My yard and landscape beds have very dense, clay-heavy soil, and the beds are located on the west side of the house, meaning they get full afternoon sun.

I have planted a number of daylillies, which are doing well - some I suspect will be ready to be divided by the end of this season. I planted three pieris japonica, which are doing OK - it's neither thriving, nor dying. They always seem to look rather droopy, no matter how much or how little water they receive.

I planted 5 or 6 Abelia zanderi. I was a bit worried about all of them, because I didn't realize they were not evergreen - they lost most of their ieaves and looked like skeletons. Now that spring has arrived, most of them are starting to fill out a bit more. There are a lot of what look to me like dead sticks - are they OK to prune off at this time of the year??

My biggest concern is with the Nandina domestica plants. In one bed, one of the Nandinas died within 6 months. The other 3-4 plants in the bed seem like they are still hanging on, but they don't look particularly healthy. I have mediocre results in the other two beds. S

My question is whether I have the right plant material in the yard. I would be open to suggestions to other plant material which might perform better. Ideally, I would like something that would complement my existing plants, and also be evergreen / year-round color.

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