I live in Austin, Texas (Zone and I have been blessed with clay acidic soil . I moved into a new home in September and have since a large portion of my garden, most likely because the landscapers made some really bad decisions on plant selection (That and it's rained A LOT here). My garden area has naturally organic much about 2 inches high.
Thus far, the only thing that has enjoyed success in my garden have been daylilies, which are doing great and are blooming well and two Star Grazer Lilies, which have about 3 or 4 blooms going.
I want to add some variety in my front garden. The front of the garden area is bordered by Hypoestes, which I have been told are annuals. About 80% of them are growing well and the other 20% are growing, but much slower.
I also have a Dinnerplate Dahlia growing in a pot (We tried planting it directly, but it rained so much here the tuber couldn't sprout, so we placed it in a pot indoors and now it's sprout and growing like a weed).
Anyway, I do not want to ammend my clay soil because it's going to be far too much work and I already have plants in place in the garden.
I am thinking of replacing my Blue Cloud Texas Sages because I only have 3 left and they are doing poorly. I originally had 7 and 4 are dead. The remaining 3 are quickly on their way of dying. My nursery told me they do not like wet feet, so I figured that the poorly drained clay soil plus all the rain we are getting is killing them.
Anyway, to sum it up this is what I'm thinking:
1) I heard that roses are great for Clay Soil. I am thinking of getting Knockout Rose Shrubs to replace my dying sages. Would they thrive in Clay Soil? I have heard wonderful stories of these plants.
2) I want to add more variety in my garden other than lilies lol. What other perennials will grow in my soil? I am looking for plants that flower and would grow about 2-3 feet tall with a spread of around 1-2 feet. I have heard Hibusus are good for my soil too, but a lot of them get giantic and spread too much for my area.
3) Is my Dinnerplate Dahlia doomed to be in a pot forever? Would it be able to thrive in my clay soil when it is big enough? I love this Dahlia and I have a perfect spot for it and would like to not lose it.