People often ask what plants to combine in a garden - How does a person choose? Take this clematis as an example. What blooms would work with this simple stunner?
There are many factors that inform a decision about plant combinations. One way to help the decision is to get to know the delicate intricacies of the colors of the plant.
Purple clematis - Clematis jackmanii - is familiar, sure. It's common and somewhat pedestrian - one of your neighbors probably has one scrambling along a mailbox. But if you look closer, it's also remarkable: ruffled purple cross-shaped blooms, silvery-white and even bold hot pink.
Consider plants that could echo those color details. Try it with Silvery-white lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina).
Or pair it with soft white and deep purple mountain bluet (Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow')
You could also continue the purple-silver combination into deep summer with purple-pink sedum (Sedum 'Matrona') and artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound')
The best part about thinking through all these choices? Getting to enjoy the subtle details of your blooms.