CAMPANULA

The large flowers are either star-shaped or bell-shaped, and the usual colours are blue and lavender. The stems are upright and the flowers appear between June and August. The arrangement of the flowers on the stem gives a clue to the species, and all varieties are excellent for cutting. Keep watch for slugs, stake tall plants and dead-head to prolong the floral display.

VARIETIES: Nearly all border Campanulas belong to one or other of 4 species. C.persicifolia is the most popular, growing 2 or 3 ft high. The cup-shaped flowers are borne along the wiry main stems which rise up above a basal rosette of evergreen leaves. ‘Telham Beauty’ (light blue) is the established favourite – for a change try ‘Snowdrift’ (white) or the double-flowered ‘Bernice’ (blue). Set the plants about 1 ft apart. C. latifolia (4-5 ft) is a taller species than persicifolia, and the large flowers are shaped like long bells. They are borne on tall spikes and there are several recommended varieties – “Alba’ (white), ‘Brantwood’ (violet) and ‘Gloaming’ (lilac). C. lactiflora (3-5 ft) is another tall-growing species, but here the open-bell flowers are borne in branching heads. ‘Loddon Anna’ (pink) is a popular choice, so is “Pritchard’s Variety’ (lavender-blue). The fourth species is C. glomerata (2 ft), represented in the catalogues by the violet-blue “Superba. In this species the small, bell-like flowers are borne in spherical clusters.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Plant cuttings in a cold frame in spring or divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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