Last year we bought a clematis. It wasn't our first one. Or even our second. Those were eaten by some rodent with fur and a twitchy nose. So instead of shelling out the usual $5 -- we went for an ESTABLISHED plant and shot the wad at about $25.
Still, for the price, this little guy was kinda beaten up, thanks to a hail storm that had hit a few days before. But we planted him and hoped for the best. The best didn't happen in 2009. Mr. Clematis existed. Hubby was depressed.
This spring, we weren't sure Mr. Clematis had survived the winter. It was slow to take off. And then one day--WOW--it shouted, I WANT TO LIVE. And see how it's blooming. (The arbor it grows on is at least 8 feet tall.)
Yup, I think he survived the winter.