Perennial Flower Information
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Campanula – Bellflower, Canterbury
Bell, Harebell, Peach Bell, Bluebell
is hardly a group of flowers which possess such rare
beauty as does the large genus of Campanulas. There
are many sorts, some growing inches high and some from
4 feet to 6 feet high, but all have more or less bell-shaped
flowers in lovely colors: white, clear pink, blue, rose,
purplishrose, violet-blue and lavender. All of them
are desirable and seem to just fit in their various
places from the formal border to the rocky ledges of
the woods. Most of them bloom during June and July.
The Canterbury Bells (Campanula Medium) and its
cup and saucer variety (C. M. caly canthema) are
perhaps the most showy and satisfactory of the whole
group. The flowers are very large, in lovely white pink,
blue and deep purple. The stalks of bloom are about
2 feet, tall and they are very effective when planted
with the early blooming varieties of Phlox. The Peach
Bells (C. persicifolia) grows from 2 feet to
3 feet high and its flowers, in blue or white, are more
shallow than bell-shaped. It has narrow leaves and is
very graceful. Of this species, Moerheimei is
the best white; some sorts are double.
Bellflower (C. pyramidalis) is the tallest one.
It sends up long stalks of porcelain-blue and clear
white flowers in August and continues blooming for six
weeks. When in full bloom, the plant seems to form a
perfect pyramid. Of the dwarfer varieties, which are
beautiful and useful in rock gardening, the Carpathian
Harebell (C. carpatica) is probably the most
popular. It grows in dense tufts, not. exceeding 8 inches
in width, and is covered with clear blue flowers borne
on wiry stems. The Scotch Harebell, the Bluebell of
literature, is the C. rotundifolia. It is an
attractive flower having most dainty little bells of
blue which appear during late Spring. This sort is found
wild in many of the hills and mountains of our country
and possesses a sort of unexcelled daintiness.
The uses are almost as varied as the numerous forms.
The dwarfer varieties are especially suited for small
borders, for baskets and the rock garden. The tall ones,
especially the Chimney Bellflower, are adaptable
for pot culture or as specimen plants and make a beautiful
decoration for the terrace or porch. The other varieties
are excellent in the border or to use as cut flowers.
Campanulas should be given full sunlight and should
not be crowded in the beds. The taller varieties need
staking to prevent injury from the high winds. They
like a good, rich soil, and in the Spring a little fine
manure and some bonemeal should be dug around each plant.
Most of the varieties, especially the taller ones, need
Winter protection, for if allowed to stand naturally,
the heavy snows will flatten the crown of leaves to
the ground, causing it to decay. Forest leaves should
be packed between the plants, holding the leaves of
the Campanula together with one hand. Evergreen boughs,
straw or hay will serve for the dwarfer ones. If the
flowers are cut immediately upon fading, the blooming
season can be prolonged for several weeks.
Most of the Campanulas are biennials. For this reason
seed must be sown each year in order to have plants
which will bloom the next year. A mistake, commonly
made, is in sowing the seed too late. It should be sown
any time from May until August, according to the variety,
in rich soil which has been carefully prepared, and
it should be watered daily. The plants should he hardened
gradually, after they have been wintered over in coldframes,
and can be removed to the open ground in May. The rows
should be 12 inches apart, with an almost equal amount
of space between the plants. Campanulas are also propagated
by cuttings and division.