Posted: 03/02/2015 at 10:46
Hi Denise, I was told, many years ago, that clematis, left to their own devices in their natural habitat, trail along the ground. ...
Well, if there's nothing to climb up they do, but as soon as they reach a hedge, shrub or tree they climb straight up it - they're naturally plants of the hedgerow and woodland.
Leaving plants to their own devices is a strange concept - you don't find clematis growing in the wild in the middle of grassland where there's no shrubs/trees to climb up.- they grow in places that are suitable for them - different plants have different needs and if we're going to grow them in what is a human construct, i.e. a garden, then we have to supply them with what they would have when growing in the wild.
However, there are a few herbacious clematis which do not climb and which do 'tumble' http://www.taylorsclematis.co.uk/clematis-herbaceous-clematis/