I saw on the dahlia forum that they have a Biglist for dahlias vendors. Is there something similar for clematis?
One of our forum regulars did a very nice listing recently of some of the better mail order sources.
Here is a link that might be useful: Clematis sources
Many of the vendors on the list consistently ship quality plants, regardless of the size. However, as many of us learned last year, there are no guarantees. Some nurseries were struggling last year and this year could be worse. My main purpose for the list was to give people every option after we lost one of the best sources for hard to find clematis.
I encourage anyone to keep asking questions and to listen to other's experiences. One place you can check on the quality of a particular mail order source is Dave's Garden Watchdog. It is considered by some to be the best source. However, keep in mind that a low rating could be caused by someone with unrealistic expectations, inhospitable shipping conditions or who knows what else. One bad rating doesn't necessarily mean the vendor intentionally shipped bad plants.
I find this forum to be the best source for information. There is always someone willing to share their experiences in a fair and honest way.
Here is a link that might be useful: Dave's Garden Watchdog.