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My garden has a lot of tree roots running through it from neighbouring trees.  Can you advise what would be the best shrubs to plant as practically everything I plant will last about 2 years and then dies, I'm assuming the trees are taking all the goodness and moisture from the soil, also the soil is clay. Can you please help? Thanks


  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845
    Is it possible to lay a watering system?
    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • FireFire Posts: 17,349
    Raised beds?
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,627
    I have an aucuba (spotted laurel), a Hypericum Hidcote and a spirea "Goldflame" under a lime tree in clay soil. The aucuba is nearest the tree, right under it, as I read an article saying they are one of the few shrubs that will grow under a lime tree. I am fond of it's splash of green and gold and it's good for Christmas bouquets, btu I know some people don't like them. All these shrubs are well over 10 years old.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,627
    I also have periwinkle in impossible places like under a conifer, good ground cover, but watch it doesn't spread into places you don't want it! Oh, and Spirea Anthony Waterer is pretty tough in my garden and I have a Cercis Forest Pansy under a Robinia tree.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    Some Euphorbia will grow happily under trees. Euonymus Gaiety and Emerald and Gold seem to function well in dry, poor soil
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    What type of shrubs/plants are you planting. May help to see why they may not be surviving beyond two years. Could it be other factors like shade from trees or buildings, poor planting preparation. Clay soils can dry out in the hotter months, but stay heavy and damp which could lead to water-logging, not always ideal for young plants. 
  • The last one to die on me is a Buddleia which are suppose to be O.K in clay soil. There is a certain amount of shade from the trees but that area still gets quite a lot of sun, as far as preparation goes it is quite hard to dig down because of the tree roots.  Thanks for all your comments I will have a look at some of the shrubs suggested and hopefully something will survive, failing that it will be raised beds which I have been considering already.
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