Clematis are new to me. Of course I had known about clematis, but I had never grown them. I'm not really a vine person and people never really grew any clematis in California other than the evergreen clematis C. armandii. I've always loved the colors and shapes of the flowers, though. I didn't think they would grow here, in the dry heat, but when I moved into this house, there was a tiny plant at the base of honeysuckle, overrun and looking miserable. The one flower it produced was lovely, however, and when I saw my neighbor's clematis, I knew I had to take better care of this one. I think that it is Jackmanii, since it is a common variety and the people who lived here only planted plants that were readily available. I'm glad of that in this case, because this has got to be my favorite color (the Knockout roses, on the other hand...).
'Betty Corning' was planted this year, and it has produced its first flower. "Betty the Beast" she has been called for her vigor (despite delicate flowers), but she has been slow out the gate in my garden. Perhaps it is because when planting it I had to slice off most of the roots from the edge of the rootball on this very potbound plant. She is supposed to be fragrant, but I detect nothing so far. I hope she becomes the beast and competes with the honeysuckle. She makes a wonderful complement to the Jackmanii.