Answer: You first need to deal with the subsoil. The only thing to do is either bring in fresh topsoil and/or amend the soil HEAVILY with compost, leaves, grass clippings, manures... I would start small, taking on a section of the yard at a time. Perhaps an area that has high visibility should be first. Amend that soil by either mixing it with the subsoil or creating a raised bed. Then you can try to plant asclepias (butterfly weed) and Buddelia (butterfly bush) and many other flowers in the soil to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants that can take the heat and drought such as lantana, verbena and salvia may also be good choices.
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