No rockery is really complete without at least one species of Campanula, and there are many types from which to make your choice. All need well-drained soil and the addition of lime if the ground is acid. Most species will flourish in light shade and the popular varieties are easy to grow. Slugs are the worst enemy – scatter Slug Pellets around the plants in spring. June and July are the peak flowering months, and Campanulas have a well-earned reputation for bearing masses of blooms. These flowers are of two distinct types, depending on the species. The usual form is a bell, sometimes held erect but more commonly pendent. The other form is a star-like bloom, with C. garganica and C. poscharskyana as examples.

VARIETIES: One of the most popular species is C. carpatica – height 10 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-September. It bears large cup-shaped flowers in shades ranging from pure white to deep blue. C. cochlearifolia (Fairy Thimbles) is a much daintier plant – it spreads as wide as C. carpatica and flowers during the same period, but the height of the flowering stems is only 3 in. and the flowers are small pendent bells in blue or white. If the site is shady, grow C. muralis – height 4 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-September. It bears masses of purple bell-shaped flowers which cover the leafy trailing stems. C. poscharskyana is the one to choose if you want to cover a large area quickly. Its basic details are height 10 in., spread 2 ft and the lavender or white starry flowers appear between June and September. If you want a star-like Campanula which will not spread everywhere, pick instead C. garganica, which produces compact tufts and long trails of blue or white blooms between June and August.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained, non-acid soil -thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass or divide clumps in spring. Alternatively plant non-flowering cuttings in a cold frame in late spring.

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