Campanula lactiflora

This tall elegant campanula is a worthy companion for roses, lilies, delphiniums and other sumptuous plants of the mid-summer border. A hardy herbaceous perennial, it carries large branching heads ot starlike blue flowers on stalks 4 feet (1.1 m) high, which are thick with toothed, pointed leaves. The best of several good blue forms is the lavender-blue ‘Prichard’s Variety’, and there is a charming soft pink called ‘Loddon Anna’.

This campanula needs space and looks best in a large group of at least five plants with pink, apricot, white, or other blue flowers round about. At all costs avoid yellow, a killer to pastel colours, especially the delicate pink of ‘Loddon Anna’. Tall shrub roses, like the purple-pink, double bourbon ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’ or the hybrid musk ‘Cornelia’, with clusters of coral-pink double flowers, would make a billowy background for the campanulas. White lilies could be planted beside them, and a silver foliage plant, like Stachys olympica, at their feet. This would be a cool, refreshing colour scheme in the long hot days when the rampant yellow composite plants are trying to capture the garden. Plant the campanulas 2 feet (60 cm) apart in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny bed, and leave them in peace for several years.

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