Answer: You should be able to plant a medium sized shrub directly in the ground without compromising either the roots of the plant or the underground wiring (which is typically enclosed in plastic tubing). The only caution would be in digging your initial planting hole - do it carefully.
Shrubs that do well in your area include Camellia, especially 'Ashton's Pride', 'Pink Icicle' and 'Winter's Star'; Glossy Abelia; Dwarf Buford, China Girl, and China Boy hollies; Osmanthus; Boxwood; Leucothoe; Nandina 'Moon Bay'. All of these shrubs can be pruned to maintain size and all will grow in partly shady sites.
Best wishes with your landscape!
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