A six inch deep trough does sound very shallow for a clematis. The roots like a deep cool root run.
No they don't, Mike! Or has anyone had a positive result with it?
It looks dead to me. Any sign of new leaf buds when you look closely at it?
Did it show signs of stress last year - yellowing leaves for example. It looks big enough to have been there a few years so I assume the soil is acidic, or neutral at worst.
Can think of a lot more troubling obsessions. Nutcutlet prowls round garden centres sniffing Crown Imperial bulbs!
Whatever turns you on, Nutcutlet!
Hmmm, need to pay a visit to Speccavers!
Not quite purple, more a coppery colour - clematis montana 'Warwickshire Rose'. I have one, and have given away several rooted cuttings. Unlike other montanas it looks attractive all season.
Yes! prune hard, to within 6" of teh base. Now is the best time.
There are dwarf forms such as Pamina that are not anything like as aggressive.
I did that once. It was great fun. Sadly hardy fuchsias can get cut to ground level in cold winters, which defeats the whole process, so if you do it then keep it in a pot that you can move in winter.
Mrs. Popple is a sturdy, hardy purple. Check this out: