Today, I find that one of its supporting stakes has been entirely pulled out of the ground and dropped to one side, breaking the main growth, along with the fledgling flower, in the process. The stake was securely pushed six inches into the soil. It still has living growth, but I feel as if I'm fighting a losing battle in my efforts to help the clematis really grow.
I blame the racoons. Surely squirrels can't pull up a stake buried that securely in the ground.