Posted: 23/05/2013 at 15:23
Hello, there, welcome to the site, lovely to have new gardeners join the group. Hope you come to love gardening and get as besotted as the rest of us as time goes on.
Clematis are a huge group of plants, there are very early pretty litttle alpina types, very hardy viticellas, and the less hardy large flowered ones. That is only a tiny taster of the tyes available. Much will depend on a) where you are, b) what type of soil you have, c) the postion you waant to grow them in - and so forth. There are some wonderful web sites and books about this huge group of gorgeous plants, maybe a trip to your local lbrary would be useful? I would not buy very small plugs, but decent sized plants whichever you chose, unless you somewhere under cover to bring them on for a year or two. I tend to avoid markets as the plants have often come from hot houses to cold streets and then suffer from shock. There are plenty to chose from in good garden centres and better yet, specialist nurseries which deal on line,. You can pay almost anything from a fiver to a fairly large amount of money depending on the type you want.
We have three huge montanas, and luckliy the space to put them in as they get absolutely huge, plus a couple of late flowered ones, some non-climbing ones, a couple of winter ones and a couple of large flowered ones - so you see it not that easy to choose. They are all worth the trouble to grow, some are far easier than others, which may be a good place to begin if you have not grown them before. Having now thoroughly confused you I'll stop and let you look around and see what you really like. Enjoy the search.