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Clay Soil Planters - Shrubs to complement roses?

Hi all.  I have had a one meter by six meter planter built in my north-west facing front garden.  For the past two years I have planted established lavenders, and both years they have not survived the winter (rotted roots).  This year, I have planted rose bush roots.
There are gaps between the roses bushes which I am hoping to fill with a colourful shrub.  Despite having been mulched and sanded - and a lot of new soil dug in last year - I guess the soil is not going to support my first choice, lavender.  Any other suggestions for something shrubby and colourful which would complement cream rose bushes (when they’re established)?
Many thanks!


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