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Old 09-10-2019, 01:02 PM
585 posts, read 457,469 times
Reputation: 1718


I hope all you gardeners can give me some suggestions. This year I paid a fair amount of money to someone who brought in some native plants. Some are doing great, some not so great. I suppose that is to be expected.

I live in the Triangle area of North Carolina, which has dense, clay soils. My backyard has a slope that comes down from the property behind me (which is currently undeveloped) and then flattens. I have some catch drains on my patio. When we have a lot of rain, the yard gets boggy. When we don't, it's dry, dry, dry and I am going broke trying to keep everything watered. Half of the back slope gets very little sun, the other half gets about 60% sun in the afternoon. It is rimmed with Lariope.

The front beds get a decent amount of sun, especially in the morning. I am on a hill, so on the hill there is a messy hodgepodge of pachysandra, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, various ferns, Virginia creeper, a lot of lariope, and other invasives, plus about a half-dozen small azalea.

At the side and back of the house is a bed that gets very little sun. She planted some maple leaf viburnum there, some of which didn't take, some of which show some growth.

All the plants were pretty young, and it has been a harsh summer, for all the watering I've done (to the tune of $100/month water bills when they are usually $25).

The whole yard is surrounded with eleagnus, and starts shoot up everywhere. It is like playing whack-a-mole trying to keep up with these starts and they are so deep I can't dig them up. I confess that I have been known to cut these these to within 1/2" of the ground and painting roundup on the stumps. (Sorry.)

I am not a gardener. I want plants that thrive on benign neglect (i.e. water, and I'll feed azaleas, which I do like). Right now there is a decent amount of mulch and I will have more put down next year. I had a tree taken down and chipped, and that is the mulch on the back slope.

I can't afford to pay someone more money for planting that aren't going to make it. It's not her fault; she chose plants for when the back slope is boggy and we've had a dry summer. My original purpose was to plant things that would suck up water that comes down the slope when we get a lot of rain, because I get a river at the slope bottom and sometimes standing water.

I think that given my lack of predilection to gardening, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy established plants.

I need some suggestions for plants for this area that can tolerate a dry OR wet summer, sun to partial shade, and don't need a lot of attention. Any ideas?
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Old Today, 05:43 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,493 posts, read 44,274,777 times
Reputation: 47331
You should bite the bullet and hire a professional who can help you like a landscape architect and not keep wasting your money on plants when the underlying problem has not been taken care of.
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