The fat, strong shoots of this herbaceous clematis are an appealing deep purple that, by the year end, have turned an olive green. From the moment the shoots appear in spring, through to the end of the last fluffy seed heads in autumn, this is an attractive plant. At this time of year there are lots of plants that you can literally watch as they move the earth aside and push up towards the sunlight. Dylan Thomas referred to this power of plants as ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower’. In this case the tiny flowers form a scented creamy-white froth later in the summer. It will grow to 1.5 tall but will need staking.