Although blue is the basic colour in Campanulas or ‘Bellflower’ there is such wide variations in height and habit that they form an important asset in decorative gardening. Most of them are reliable and trouble free and have no soil fads or fancies, adaptable to sun or partial shade. They can be increased by division in spring but seldom come true when raised from seed. Amongst dwarf growing kinds, C. carpatica, in shades of blue as well as white, grow neatly from 6 to 12 inches, making a show of upfacing bells from June to August. C. muralis (portenschlagiana) is lavender blue, only 4-5 inches high, but has an amazing capacity for flowering and creeps slowly below ground. C. ‘Stella’, is really excellent, with starry flowers spreading out from a mounded plant often flowering twice—and can also be effective as an indoor pot plant. C. alliariifolia ‘Ivory Bells’ is of course white, a long lived variety of a free flowering species. From June to August 18 inches sprays carry dangling bells, though they are not so large as the smoky blue flowers of C. burghaltii 18 inches, which also has a long flowering period. C. glomerata has several forms, but the flowers are clustered. C. ‘Joan Elliott’ is violet blue, 18 inches for May and June. C. glomerata nana alba white, 18 inches, June to August and ‘Purple Pixie’ July to September. The tallest is C. glomerata superba, which carries terminal violet cluster on 2 ½ -3 feet stems in June and July. C. lactiflora makes a more fleshy root and bears open heads of lavender mauve bell flowers in high summer on erect 3-4 feet stems. There is also a white and the slightly pink C. ‘Loddon Anna’ which grows 4-5 feet. C. latifolia grows strongly to 4 feet for June and July, the variety C.’Brantwood’ being violet purple and apart from a white variety there is the exquisite pale lilac blue C. ‘Gloaming’. C. persicifolia is not so long lived as most, but during June and July makes a good show. C. ‘Telham Beauty’ is the best blue, but a more reliable variety with the same form of saucer covered 3 feet spikes exists in C. ‘Percy Piper’, with rich blue flowers. Finally, for those who like double flowers, the 2 feet C. ‘Bernice’, powder blue, is worth growing for the June-August period.

CAMPANULA muralis (portenschlagiana)

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