We have moved to a house that needs lots of yard work. I have an area that I want to plant some evergreen shrubs. They will need to be able to take full sun and clay soil. Any recommendations?
That Depends. Where is this area? Next to the house? Next to the woods? Out by the road? Around your patio? How big do you want the shrubs to get? How much maintenance are you willing to do? Do you want blooms? How big is the area? What is its purpose? Do you want this area to give you privacy? Curb appeal? An area to stroll through? Do you want just green, or do you want color, too? Do you want space for seasonal annuals? Do you have room to work in a few seasonal blooming shrubs like hydrangeas or roses, that will lose their leaves in the winter? Give us a little more information and there are lots of people on this forum with super great ideas!
You are doing this kind of thinking at just the right time. February is a perfect time to think, dream, plan, draw, discard, start over. When warm weather gets here, you can have your plans made, your soil dug and prepped, and be ready to get started.
If you are in Mississippi, hollies are a good choice for those conditions, you will need to check their mature size, and sometimes you need male and female to make berries. There are also some conifers, dwarf and full size. I love nandina, they have autumn color and berries. They come in various sizes. If you are in the southern half of MS and even up here in Tupelo area, many roses are virtually evergreen, like the shrub roses (Knockout is great) and take full sun.
I highly recommend any of these books: Southern Living books (this one is my bible, has all the zones, and many many plants, shrubs, trees and pictures), Tough Plants for Southern Gardens, Passalong Plants. Also go to the MSU website msucares.com I think for a wealth of horticultural info, or your local county agent you can find in your phone book.
Viburnums are good also. And there are so many to choose from.
Arborvitaes would be a good candidate.
Depending on where in MS, Gardenias would also be good.