Try this stunning design and you might just forget that your soil is less than ideal.

By Viveka Neveln
Updated December 07, 2020
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Gardening in clay soil can be a real challenge because this type of earth drains poorly after a rain, then dries to a concrete-like surface. But this garden plan for clay soil will make it possible for you to enjoy a colorful, thriving garden, all the same. That's because the mix of plants chosen for the design can handle the tough conditions that clay creates. Among the selections are a hawthorn tree, a rugosa rose, lady's mantle, and daylilies, all of which will produce beautiful blooms at different times of the year. You can swap in the alternative plant suggestions to customize the garden to your liking, or even expand and diversify this mixed bed over time.

Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Clay Soil Garden Plan

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting. For example rugosa roses can be problematic in coastal areas throughout New England, Pacific Northwest, and the Great Lakes, so if you live in these regions, you may want to replace this plant in the plan with the alternative given, 'Anthony Waterer' spirea.

Get the Free Clay Soil Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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