I want to plant a clematis, is this a good time or should I wait until spring. We live in the south east and have free draining soil. It will be in full sun most of the day.
Preferably a large flower which blooms for most of the year.
Clematis require rich soils so you'll have to improve yours with loads of well rotted garden compost and manure to provide all the nutrients they need and improve water retention. There are many varieties to choose form but none that flower most of the year.
There are some evergreen ones that flower in early spring. The deciduous ones come in many shapes and forms of flowers but you should look at the Group 2s which flower in May and June and then, if fed and pruned well, again in late summer. The group 3s, which are easiest to prune as they just get cut back hard in spring, can flower from June through to September if well fed.
Have a look at this site which lets you select plants according to group, flower colour and aspect - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemlistsearch.cfm You can then seek out the varieties you like at your local nursery or garden centre or from nurseries that do mail order such as Taylor's or Thorncroft or Raymond Evison
obelixx has pretty much covered it sandrap
One thing I'd add is that when you're choosing, some fade quite dramatically in lots of sun so take your time. You may become addicted though once you take a look at these specialist growers !
If you want to have the effect of something flowering from spring right through to autumn, and you have the room, you could pick one from Group 2 and one from Group 3 in a similar colour. Group 3s are probably the easiest to manage if you haven't grown them before though.
Thank you for advice, very helpful. I am going to start my research immediately.