Answer: Since you're new to the area, I'll recommend a couple of local resources for you which will provide lots of information on the plants that thrive in your new locale, as well as how to prepare the soil prior to planting and how to take care of your new plants once they are installed. Check out the following websites, hosted by North Carolina State University: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/peren...
(You may have to cut and paste the addresses.)
Best wishes with your new landscape!
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