I have great success with clematis.
I don’t do anything special…no great soil or mulch they just do really well for me.
We sorted through our “boneyard” (scrap pile) and pulled out all the painted 1 inch thick cedar lumber we could find. The final tally was four 4×8’s, two 4×6’s, and a few 2×6’s. Everything went through the table saw to make it true, and then was ripped down to 3 inches (for the posts and trusses) and 3/4×3/4.
We didn’t have a pattern to follow, except for our existing full size trellis, so we decided to build this new one at about 1/2 scale of the original.
We assembled the sides first, using an air powered brad nailer, and used exterior glue to give the new project long term durability. By constructing both sides at the same time, it was simple to make sure they were both identical.
We built the top and then fastened the sides and top together with decking screws. Carrie’s artistic eye knew the project lacked “character” and so, using her Dremel, carved a floral design into the front valance…perfect!
Finally, we cut angled bases on the bottom of the posts, and carefully drove the arbor down into the flower bed, keeping it level, plumb, and square as it was being set in. Being cedar…and painted…it should last for years even in the damp soil.
Carrie was able to quickly train the clematis to cling to the new trellis and it is thriving on its new habitat…and healthier too.