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When I look around the garden at this time of year I see some of the real stars performing at their best. Box, lavender, repeat-flowering roses, sedums, primula, and Japanese anemones are probably the most notable.  The soil here is heavy clay and although some of the beds, mostly vegetable, have been improved over the years, others have had no special treatment at all.  

Roses, Japanese anemones, sedum

Bergenia does well here and is having a bit of a flower before the winter.

Bergenia in its modest autumn mode

Some plants have been specatacular failures over the seven years we have gardened here, for example, Viburnum davidii, penstemon, echinacea, clematis, although this may not be entirely due to the clay soil. In fact, I am determined to win with clematis next year and I will have to provide better conditions for it.

The Royal Horticultural Society suggests quite a small range of plants for clay soils but there are plenty that I do not currently have. I think I should treat myself to some Primula florindae, Iris laevigata, and Houttuynia cordata, and must take their advice and not plant until spring so that I don’t lose anything in the cold, damp winter.

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