(Bellflower) There are lots of types of Campanulas, all provide the border with a flowery, cottage feel. The other name for this variable bunch is Bellflower for the obvious reason as the flowers are bell-shaped. The flowers, which are always white or blue, do vary in shape and form, from deeply cupped to wide and narrow. These can be borne on tall, stiff stems or arching stems, and may face upwards, outwards or sideways. The flowers of C. glomerata even form tight, round balls.
The leaves, which are almost always mid-green, can be carried up the stems or spring from the crown of the plant forming rosettes as the plant grows.
In shape the plant can be stiffly upright, billowing and blousy, spreading or mounding. This makes them useful for all styles and areas of the garden. Some, such as C. punctata, will spread vigorously especially in a moist soil. Others, such as C. persicifolia, only move slowly.
Campanulas have a habit of flowering at the most important time of the year, just when we love our gardens most, when the weather gets warm. Most flower between June and August, but a few, such as C. 'Iridescent Bells', will bloom until September. Of the many types, C. lactiflora is the tallest, reaching up to 120cm in a good, moisture retentive soil. Next there are the mid-range growers such as C. trachelium, and finally there are the shorties, such as G. glomerata, which are ideal for the front of the border.
Campanulas can be found throughout UK and Europe. These are plants of open meadows and woodlands, where they grow along the dappled edges.
Any well-drained, but not too dry soil, in sun or part shade.
Easy - just cut the flower stems back after they have finished blooming. With C. lactiflora types I tend to cut back to the axel that has bloomed, allow the buds further down the stem to open.
Staking: if your garden is windy you might need to stake taller varieties
Dividing: when they gets too big.