Guests, invited or otherwise.

Campanula is a lovely family of plants. Some are bought by me, some are passed along by friends, some arrive on the breeze, some are well behaved, some misbehave and some are so good they are really welcome to stay as long as they like!

Golden leaved Campanula

Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold.

I’ll start with one that is so well behaved, a little golden leaved one called C. garganica Dickson’s Gold.  It is on the alpine scree and I must have bought it about 10 yrs ago. It never seems to get any bigger, it doesn’t seed around and must like the conditions in the semi shade where it is. I have just read up about it and it prefers semi shade and doesn’t like hot sun, so without knowing it, I gave it the conditions it likes!

Campanula porcsharskyana

Campanula poscharskyana

Now for one that doesn’t have any manners at all, it puts itself everywhere! Here it is by the steps up onto the back lawn, I have to keep pulling it out by the armful otherwise I would be tumbling down the steps!



In the gravel garden at the back, it is getting close and personal with a Phormium Yellow Wave.

Campanula and rose.

Campanula and rose.

By the archway into the woodland it is in shade all day long, but that doesn’t bother it. Here it is with Rosa Snow Goose and Regale lilies which have just been dropped into the border now that they are flowering.

C porscharskyana

C.  poscharskyana

This clump is beginning to strangle a fuchsia, I must deal with it!

C. porsharskyana

C. posharskyana

This clump is forming a blue moat round a small bun shaped conifer. There are other places in the garden where it is springing up, I think I’ll have to stop putting the seedheads in the compost in future!

C. glomerata

C. glomerata

Campanula glomerata has just turned up in the garden without being invited. It is in the front Bee and Butterfly border and in the border by the field at the side. Where did it come from, I didn’t buy it and no-body gave it to me? So far it is well behaved, but the jury’s out on this one, the first sign of it spreading too far and it will be out!

Campanula with Rose

Campanula with Rose

In the border by the field is another Campanula, this time with Rosa The Countryman. This Campanula was given to me by a friend but is spreading far too far, I have to chop it each year now, this is one that doesn’t know how to be well behaved! I get mixed up with my C. latifolia, lactiflora or latiloba, can anyone help please?

Campanula ?


Further down the same border by the Cardoon is another mystery plant that just turned up one day, I like this one, it is better behaved than the previous one, but I’m not sure which variety it is, probably one of the above with the previous photo.

White campanula

White campanula

A white campanula has turned up in the front garden in the Bee and Butterfly border. I should have photographed it while it was in full flower, now only one flower is remaining at the top of each stem! Another that was uninvited but is welcome to stay for the moment!


C. porsharskyana.

I’ll finish with another view of the plant that is making a take over bid of the garden here. I enjoy it while it is flowering , but soon it will be time to be pulling all the flowering stems out.

Do you have many uninvited guests and if so, are they well behaved?

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34 Responses to Guests, invited or otherwise.

  1. catmint says:

    What a variety of campanulas! quite an eye opener for me – the only one I’m familiar with is C. porscharskyana. That one’s no problem, in fact when it’s too hot it goes into a sulky retreat and I think I’ve lost it but it usually comes back again.

    • Pauline says:

      There are quite a few more varieties that I haven’t met yet Catmint. I did once have a white version of C. porscharskyana, but unlike it’s blue relation, it dwindled and died, pit because it was rather nice!

  2. sandra says:

    Hi Pauline!The flowers are very beautiful, in special the Rosa one! Your garden is a lovely place to visit or stay!

    Cheers, Sandra

  3. Helle says:

    So lovely all your campanulas, even the misbehaving ones! I bought lots of seeds this spring, from a company I won’t mention, and they really haven’t grown at all, rather disappointing, as I find they are not only lovely flowers, but they are also great fillers of gaps and much loved by bees and bumblebees. But I’m not giving up, might just have to buy plants instead of seeds. The golden leaved one is especially pretty, do you know more about which one it is specifically?

    • Pauline says:

      I should have looked up my little gold leaved Campanula, before publishing the post Helle, sorry about that. I have just Googled it and it is Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold, I will amend my post now. How sad that your seeds didn’t germinate successfully, I hope you have better luck next time.

  4. Alain says:

    This looks really invasive. I have the other one with as difficult a name (C. portenschlagiana). It is well-behaved here .
    Yours that grows by the cardoon does look like C. rapunculoides, but it cannot be because the latter is described as an “ineradicable weed”. I have it in one spot even if I was very careful not to bring it in. I think our worst weeds hitch a ride in the soil of plants that are given us.
    I have had the same experience as you with Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold. Mine is in full sun. I should move it.

    • Pauline says:

      I think it is probably my fault, putting the seedheads in the compost when I’ve been deadheading! I think you’re right when you say they come along with plants that friends have given us, one friend in particular always has more than the original plant in a pot, sometimes this is a bonus, sometimes not!

  5. Matt says:

    I love Campanulas : I have planted C. poscharskyana and cant wait till it gets big enough to start dividing and placing around the garden. Your campanulas look so beautiful edging the borders

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad you like them too Matt, they seem to complement the plants around them. I’ve never had to divide my C.poscharskyana, I must have let it seed around in the first couple of years when I first had it, I know better now!

  6. Cathy says:

    I think I would invite Dickson’s Gold into my garden – sounds a very obliging guest! And I know what you mean about C poscharskyana – it now appears to be ‘climbing’ up the wall where my Snow Goose roses are, although it hasn’t spread around yet although I guess in time it will 🙁

    • Pauline says:

      Dickson’s Gold is very well behaved, it forms a nice cushion and stays like that Cathy. Yes, poscharskyana does have climbing tendencies, one clump is climbing up the conservatory wall, it usually flops before it reaches the windows!

  7. sally says:

    Hi Pauline, The arbor with roses and campanula is stunning. What a great picture. There’s a tiny veronica in my garden that is very beautiful when it blooms and I love the way it looks between the pavers but it’s very ugly after that. I just pulled a bunch of it out but, no worries….it will be back next spring!
    Happy Gardening!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Sally, yes once the flowers of C. poscharskyana are past their best, they will be pulled out, they come out very easily, then they stay tidy until next year. The rose on the arbour is doing so much better this year than previously, it’s amazing what a handful of fertilizer will do!

  8. snowbird says:

    I must say I love all Campanulas, and you certainly have a good variety of them, they are such a lovely blue, I do enjoy blue in the garden, it’s so restful! I have lots of uninvited white ones, I have left them to seed

    • Pauline says:

      I must save the seed of my white one because I would like more of it Dina, to plant amongst the blue. I like the fact that some of them really like the shade, which could be very useful here.

  9. debsgarden says:

    Your campanula are all beautiful. I love the swathe of blue they provide. I have a single campanula, rescued from a hillside. I think it is C. persicaria. So far it is very well behaved, but it is only a couple years old. It is too floppy for my taste, but the flowers are lovely.

    • Pauline says:

      The swathe of blue looks nice for a short while Deb, but too soon they look a mess and need to be deadheaded. It is strange how some members of the same family know how to behave and others don’t, just like human families I suppose!

  10. Chloris says:

    I love Campanulas and they are nearly all welcome. I love the way Campanula persicifolia ( like your white one) seeds itself around and looks beautiful where ever it appears. The only one I don’ t welcome is Campanula rapunculoides which spreads everywhere and is very difficult to get rid of. Your mystery one is very pretty, it looks lik Campanula latiloba, maybe ‘Hidcote Amethyst?’

    • Pauline says:

      I haven’t met C.rapunculoides yet Chloris and from what you say, I don’t think I want to! Thanks for the help with identifying my mystery campanula, I wonder where it came from as I don’t remember buying it, or maybe it’s old age that has made me forget!

  11. Anna says:

    Roses and campanulas – perfect companions Pauline. I was just looking up’ Hidcote Amethyst’ and then saw Chloris’s reply 🙂 I was just going on the colour. I’ve been impressed recently with how long stems of persificolia lasted in a vase.

    • Pauline says:

      They do look good together don’t they Anna. I think I can move some of the campanula in the autumn to accompany some other roses.

  12. AnnetteM says:

    I loved seeing all your campanulas. I have quite a lot too and most of them are quite well behaved. I did have a bad experience once though with one I brought from my mother-in-law’s garden. It was similar to your C. glomerata and looked lovely. However after a few years, well OK more than just a few years, it had completely taken over a border and I decided it was time to go. It had those roots that just break off and regrow so I ended up sieving an awful lot of soil to get rid of it. I think it had been OK in the other garden as the soil was clay, but it just went crazy in my sandy soil. I hope yours is better behaved than mine because it is a beautiful plant. If I had it again, though , it would be grown in a bucket!

    • Pauline says:

      It is strange how plants behave differently when in different sorts of soil, our soil is clay, so hopefully C.glomerata will behave and that we won’t have your experience with it! I have a few other plants though that could do with being restricted in a bucket!

  13. Annette says:

    Hi Pauline, I love campanulas too and have a C. poscharsk. covering the delicate feet of my Rosa banksiae. It thrives with neglect – no water, nothing and flowers like a little lunatic in spring. I admire this big time! My other favourite is C, persicifolia and I’ve seen another one in a garden recently, a pink C. punctata, possibly Pink Chimes which look adorable as well. But for now I’m ‘drooling’ over your green lawn and dream of rain. With temperatures in the high 30°C and no rain, my garden slowly ressembles the desert!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Annette that C.poscharskyana thrives on neglect, it gets no help from me at all! We have had a very dry month, but thank goodness it is raining now, I think our green lawn comes from the heavy clay that we are on, it can go for a long time before the grass turns brown. Last week was up in the 30s when the wind was coming from Africa, but tomorrow it turns and will come from the North Pole, it will be a lot cooler! I think the plants and I will be a lot happier.

  14. suefrombrampton says:

    I believe that your uninvited guest is C.latifolia not latiloba (the leaves don’t look right for the latter). I have C. latifolia Alba in my garden and it is everywhere!I’ve tried cutting it down before it seeds,but I always seem to miss some and so it carries on invading new areas. Sun or dry shade,it isn’t fussy. I love it when it ‘s in flower..just wish it would behave itself.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Sue, thank you for leaving a message. This is where I get confused! Does C.latifolia alba spread as much as the blue one, if so I’ll have to watch it! Thanks for your suggestion.

  15. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I also invited C. porsharskyana to my garden years ago and have been pulling it up since then. Such a pretty thing. Impatiens glandulifera is a beautiful but invasive creature that shoots its seeds everywhere. I let a few remain each year because the bumble bees enjoy them so much but there are still hundreds to be pulled each spring.

    • Pauline says:

      If only someone had told us first Peter, would we still have planted it, I wonder! I know I should pull most of them out, but as you say, the wildlife is attracted to it, so it is left to stay for another year!

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