A sure sign of spring in the south of France is Clematis Armandii. It's a very happy plant in this climate and I'm all for happy plants. It originated in central and southern China and was introduced to Europe by Ernest Wilson and named in honour of the French missionary, Père Armand David (1826-1900).
This Clematis Armandii is in the famous Hanbury Gardens at La Mortola, just over the border in Italy. I have one in my garden too but it's taken off and has climbed way, way up into a tree, instead of gently trailing along a fence as it was supposed to do. No matter. I admire it from a distance.