Growing Bells In The Garden. Planting From Seeds, Reproduction, Care. Kinds. Photo

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Growing Bells In The Garden. Planting From Seeds, Reproduction, Care. Kinds. Photo
Growing Bells In The Garden. Planting From Seeds, Reproduction, Care. Kinds. Photo

Video: Growing Bells In The Garden. Planting From Seeds, Reproduction, Care. Kinds. Photo

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Among the flowering herbaceous perennials, bells in my garden are a special place. They fit well into the design of the garden: tall - at the forks of paths and in compositions; medium ones - in a mixborder, near stones against a background of conifers, and low and dwarf ones - on an alpine slide and even in containers. Among the vast family of bellflower, the most common is the genus Campanula, or Campanula. It gets its name from the Latin word 'campana' - a bell, for the corresponding shape of the inflorescence.

Small-leaved bell (Campanula cochleariifolia)
Small-leaved bell (Campanula cochleariifolia)

The cultivation of wild species of bells in gardens began in the Middle Ages. In Russia, they decorated both court gardens and noble estates, were loved and revered by gardeners, starting from the middle of the 16th century. For a long procession of bells through the gardens of Europe, their especially interesting forms were selected, the most decorative varieties were bred.

Bells have been loved for a long time in Russia. They were affectionately called doves, kupavkas, bowlers, birdworms, bells … There was a poetic belief that on the night of Ivan Kupala one could hear a quiet bell ringing.

Bells were loved not only for their beauty, but also for their excellent healing qualities. A decoction of leaves and stems was used to treat headaches, sore throats, coughs, erysipelas, stomach ailments, epilepsy and many other ailments. And some types of bells can be eaten, enriching the body with mineral salts and ascorbic acid.

Bellflower Portenschlag (Campanula portenschlagiana)
Bellflower Portenschlag (Campanula portenschlagiana)

The love for bells has been passed down from generation to generation. And this is natural: the wonderful decorative and healing qualities of these flowers cannot leave enthusiastic florists indifferent.

The first bells that appeared in my garden were wild species: crowded, broad-leaved, spreading, nettle - leaved, peach -leaved, round-leaved. They have been cultivated for several centuries.

These types of bells in central Russia grow in meadows, forest glades, along forest edges and river banks, in ravines. They do not represent much work for growing in the garden. They cannot stand only stagnant waters, which leads to their soaking out, and excessive fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers in the second half of summer - then they are weeded out so that not a trace remains in the spring.

Bellflower (Campanula lactiflora)
Bellflower (Campanula lactiflora)

Bells cannot be counted as perennials, but this disadvantage is compensated for by simple methods of reproduction. The simplest of them is seed. Seeds remain viable longer than other perennials (up to 5 years), and even longer when stored in a cool place.

I resort to seed propagation if the plant has an elongated, deeply extending rhizome, as, for example, in the broadleaf bellflower. But many species can be propagated by careful separation of young rosettes in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season. And I cut the varietal and terry forms of bells from the moment of regrowth to mid-June in a greenhouse or just under cut plastic bottles. Cuttings quickly take root if they are treated with Kornevin.

Gradually, I replaced my wild plants with more decorative varieties. I was happy when I got the Superba variety of crowded bells: it has large saturated blue-violet flowers, a lush inflorescence-bouquet. The garden is very decorated with varieties of broadleaf Alba and Makranta, terry varieties of peach bell …

Broad-leaved bell (Campanula latifol)
Broad-leaved bell (Campanula latifol)

With experience came the desire to grow bells from more southern latitudes. The garden's favorites were various varieties of the milk-flowered bell, a tall, profusely flowering plant with flowers of various colors up to 4 cm in diameter, collected in large racemose inflorescences.

I have no problem growing a speckled bell, which received this name for the purple dots that cover the pink, slightly dirty, drooping inflorescences. This bell grows well and, which is very valuable, tolerates shade.

With the advent of an alpine slide in the garden, dwarf bells have become the most favorite. They are a true decoration of the rock garden, especially in the first half of summer, but also faded with their varied foliage complement the harmony of plants and stone.

The most common of the bells suitable for an alpine slide is the Carpathian. Solitary, non-sinking, funnel-shaped white, blue, purple flowers delight the eye for a very long time - almost all of June and July. The Carpathian bell is unpretentious, winter-hardy, but does not like anxiety and frequent transplantation.

Carpathian bell (Campanula carpatica)
Carpathian bell (Campanula carpatica)

A spoon-fed bell looks touching on the hill. Its height is small - no more than 15 cm, but thin, creeping leaves form a real cascade with drooping white, blue or blue flowers, depending on the variety. The plant is decorative after flowering due to its beautiful, small, semi-oval leaves.

The gargan bell is highly decorative. Although it is not tall - up to 15 cm, but, being in abundant bloom with blue "stars", it adorns the hill throughout July.

Around the same time, Pozharsky's bell blooms. Its flowers are collected in several at the ends of the shoots, which creates bright accents on the hill.

Bellflower changeable (Campanula polymorpha)
Bellflower changeable (Campanula polymorpha)

The Portenschlag bell forms an exceptionally stable mat. It is low - only up to 15 cm, but it is favorably distinguished by flowers of a warm reddish-purple color. In particularly cold winters, this species will not interfere with light shelter.

One of the smallest is a three-toothed bell, it reaches a height of only 10-15 cm. The corolla of its flowers is light lilac with a white center, with five limbs, and narrow whole leaves - with three teeth, for which it got its name. This baby bell is very touching for its fragility.

The variety of bells is so great that it constantly feeds the desire to add them to your collection. The bellflower genus has more than 300 species of plants, most of which are suitable for growing in the gardens of our zone. They are quite cold-resistant, and only immigrants from the Mediterranean need shelter for the winter with either a dry leaf, or spruce branches, or just a covering material. Therefore, when acquiring a new bell, I always determine its type, identify its "homeland", and from here I build up agricultural technology.

Bearded bell (Campanula barbata)
Bearded bell (Campanula barbata)

Mountain species are the most difficult to grow. In their homeland, they grow among limestone rocks, where stone is not only a habitat, but also food. They can grow in the garden only if the soil is liming. These bells include: bearded, garlic - leaved, Kemularia, three-toothed, Bieberstein, Osh, etc. But, believe me, seeing the colorful flowering of various bells almost all summer is a great pleasure. And it's worth the work!

Author: V. Myagkaya

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