I took a walk around my neighborhood the other day and was surprised to see a flowering climbing clematis already crawling up and over a mailbox. I was under the mistaken impression that clematis bloomed later in the season. (I'm under the mistaken impression about a lot of things!) If I were a gardener, I'd plant lots of different colored clematis--there are hundreds of varieties--and have them climbing over all sorts of trellises.
According to the experts at Ohio State University, "Clematis have a reputation for being difficult to grow, however, like any other plant, if their needs can be met by the site and proper care, they will thrive." To learn more about this perennial borrow A Creative Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Clematis by Nicholas Hall [635.9333 HAL]. Or, visit the American Clematis Society website. The photos section has some beautiful pictures!