I have a gorgeous Sapphire Indigo clematis that is growing in a container. I bought it on sale late season 2011. Last summer, after it grew right over the top of the 40" tuteur and back down again, it finally dawned on me that it is a non-vining clem.
So, it can't really be trained up a trellis. I don't have a good place in the garden to let it sprawl. So what should I do with it? I wasn't too happy with how it looked by the end of last summer.
I just love the waterfall look you show in your first photo, Katherine! I wouldn't change a thing.
Generally Fine Gardening has such great ideas for displaying plants but for Sapphire Indigo they simply say it's good as a ground cover to shut out weeds. That may be true but the stems, on the ground during winter, would still collect leaves that need hand picking to clean up the area, so I'd mount it on a stump (buy a stump if you need to) and use a tomato cage to show off the clematis in a pot.
I think part of the problem I had last year was because the tuteur tapered at the top, and the shoots got too crowded. I just ordered a different tower that doesn't taper. I wish I had a sunny spot that needed ground cover. The only thing I have is filled with pachysandra. Do you think it would play well with that? It got to be a pretty unwieldy plant last summer, but I do love it.
Oh, boy you're right about the leaves! Cleaning them from the pachysandra is an annual argument between me and my DH. From my wheelchair, I can only reach about halfway through the bed to rake out the old leaves. But getting him to do the rest is torture! I should probably just hire someone to help me. That way they might not like what I ask them to do, but they will do it (and probably without as much grumbling!)
True, it's a pain. Hiring someone is the best way to avoid conflict. Life is too short for that!
We don't have pachysandra but our neighbor does and the landscapers (truly mowers/blowers/edgers) just blow the leaves out of her pachysandra and they do not rake them out. That might be an option for you.
The photos above look very similar to Durandii, one of my favorites because of it's long bloom season. Mine doesn't cling or climb, but fortunately has a vertical habit. I grow mine next to a 6 ft. lattice trellis and fasten it to the trellis as it grows.