Plants that survive in dry/really wet climates
We have a problem. We planted a ton of Perennials this past year only to have them all die on us in one of our flower beds. Our house sits below street level. When it rains, the water pools at the bottom of the yard right on the sidewalk to the front door. We have a flower bed that lines the walkway in front of the house. Our house was basically built on clay. There is no soil in the ground past 2 inches deep. In order for us to plant anything, we have to dig the holes twice the suggested hole size and pour garden/top soil into the holes and then plant the plants. This works well for every plant in our yard except this one area. The plants did great initially. It was a dry spring/beginning of summer. The plants thrived and did really well...then the rain came. There were days when the rain levels would be to the tops of the flowers. The rain would eventually evaporate in a day or so, but the ground stays extremely wet. There is really nowhere for the water to go and there is no way for oxygen to get into the ground at this point.
We need to find a plant that does really well in both dry climates (for those scorchers!) and wet climates (for the rainy gloomy days that keep our yard wet for days.) We plan on ripping all the plants out that are there and plant some sort of greenery that stays green all year round. The area is quite large, so I want plants that aren't necessarily tall, but have a decent size diameter.
We discussed doing some sort of French Drain, but this isn't our forever home, so we're not looking to put a ton of money into this.
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated to help with our problem! :) Thanks in advance!!