Answer: I'm sorry about your trees, but a flower bed is always cheerful! I suspect the ground may be acidic from years of pine needles falling there and may also be somewhat depleted, so you may want to run some basic soil tests to see what you are in fact dealing with there. (Your County Extension may be able to help you with this, their number in St. Louis is 889-2911.) One possibility especially if old roots are a problem, would be to build a slightly raised bed atop the area (merely mounding the soil may be sufficient) and planting into that. Most perennials will appreciate a fairly rich soil well amended with organic matter, as well as adequate moisture. Daylilies are among the most tolerant of plants for full sun, as are purple coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans but even these will do much better under good planting conditions. Good luck with your project!
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