Beautiful Blue Flowers

    • Decorate your porch or patio with prolific Hanging Wave Petunias in bright pinks and purples. They make nice gifts for Father’s Day.
    • Feed rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with an acid plant food to encourage lush growth. Pinch or prune to promote full, dense growth.
    • Stake or cage tomato plants before they get any larger.
    • Roses bloom all summer with their abundant flowers in so many different colors. Choose some now when you can see their lovely flowers.
    • Fertilize container plants every 10 to 14 days with a liquid fertilizer. Pinch off faded blossoms and they will keep blooming all summer for you.

Blue Bellflowers

The vast and varied family of Campanulas has something for almost every gardener. There are ramblers to hang over stone walls and plant along paths, neat cushions for smaller places and tall plants for the perennial border.

The name “campanula” is Latin for “little bell”, and the common name “bellflower” is given to several different varieties. Many campanulas do have bell-shaped flowers, while others open wide to look like little stars. Campanulas are prized for their sky-blue flowers, though they range in color from light blue to blue lavenders to royal purple. Pure white flowers are common in many species, and pink ones occur in a few.

For a carpet of blue-purple flowers most of the summer, try one of the creeping campanulas. Dalmatian bellflower, Campanula portenschlagiana, forms a low mat that bears light blue flowers from late spring through summer, while Adriatic bellflower, C. garganica, has mid-blue, star-shaped flowers on a trailing plant, 3 to 6 inches tall and 1 to 3 feet across. These are nice along paths, in rock gardens, spilling over walls or as a groundcover.

Growing slightly taller, to ten inches, is Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’. It makes a low carpet of evergreen leaves topped with cup-shaped, light blue flowers, from June thru October. It makes an excellent edging plant. About the same size is Blue Bells of Scotland, C. rotundifolia ‘Olympica’. With small blue bells on one foot plants, it does well in the shade, blooming from June to August.

Taller still is the Peach-leaf bellflower, C. persifolia, growing about two feet tall. The cup shaped flowers are borne on graceful spikes in early summer. It is a good cut flower that reblooms when spikes are cut. The richly colored violet flowers of Clustered bellflower, C. glomerata ‘Superba’, are held on strong stems above basal foliage. They bloom heavily in late spring.

The cottage-garden classics, Canterbury bells, are commonly known as cup-and-saucer for their bell-shaped flowers with a flat base. They produce huge spikes of extremely long lasting blooms in various shades of blue, pink and white. This plant is a true biennial and will bloom the second year after planting. Allow flowers to develop seeds to insure plants for following years.

Campanulas are sun-lovers, but most will flower in partial shade. The larger types need good, fertile soil, while the smaller kinds need good drainage and less fertile conditions. For container plantings use a compost based potting soil and avoid peat based products.

They are hardy perennials, except for cup-and-saucer, and will live for years in your garden, blooming profusely with their blue bellflowers.

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