Plants that didn't make it

This Coffeeberry (Rhamnus of unknown species, but intended to be californica) languished on my back slope for years. This one was the success story. One or two others died off earlier.

It could be that the roots were stunted right from the pot, or it could be that they grew that way.
I often bury plant stakes in the vicinity of the plant.  Here's a couple.  I had hoped that Ericameria ericoides (Mock Heather) would be happy enough to self seed.  The two that I planted grew for a while but I think they were shaded out.
Coreopsis gigantea was a winner for a couple years, but I think the soil didn't drain well enough and it turned into a pile of mush this year.  I'll try again this year in a new location with better drainage and no summer water.

Erysimum capitatum (Western Wallflower) was one I tried as well.  It didn't self-seed, though I think it bloomed well enough.

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