Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ a Tall Bellflower

Campanula 'Summertime Blues'
Campanula 'Summertime Blues'

Pretty blue or purple flowers are always a treat in the garden. I added a taller bellflower to my garden earlier this spring, Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’. It has the typical purplish blue flowers of Campanula, and is supposed to bloom for a long time. It is covered in many beautiful bells. This bellflower is planted in a more sunny/part shade area of the garden.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' lots of flowers
Campanula 'Summertime Blues' lots of flowers

Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ is supposed to be very well behaved, not seeding or sending out runners. I haven’t had any problems with my bellflowers spreading to the point of annoyance, other than C. glomerata (which is my least favourite bellflower) self seeding, but if they do overly well in your area, this might be a good one for your garden.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' flower with lobelia behind
Campanula 'Summertime Blues' flower with lobelia behind

The plants are about 70 cm (2.5 ft) tall. The foliage is a little coarse on this perennial, but the colouring is nice. The leaves are a dark, rich green, while the contrasting stems are reddish. When the multitude of flowers open on ‘Summertime Blues’, the foliage is the last thing you notice.

These flowers of Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ have the classic downward facing bells. The ends of the bells flare out slightly. The flowers are larger than most bellflowers, about 5 cm (2 in) long. They look almost blue individually, but in front of the bright blue lobelia you can see that Summertime Blues are actually a lavender blue, with a slight silver tone. The buds are a reddish purple colour. There are an amazing number of flowers, from the top to the bottom of this large bellflower, so it doesn’t really need other plants in front of it. I have an annual short blue lobelia in front of them.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' and lobelia
Campanula 'Summertime Blues' and lobelia

I have this Campanula  planted in front of some Phlox paniculata (tall garden phlox).  Since ‘Summertime Blues’ is supposed to flower all season, they should look nice later in the summer with the flowering phlox. There are some Dianthus (pink carnations) to one side, and a pink ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony behind them. The river of sky blue lobelia flows in and around the area.

Because I only added the perennials to the garden a month and a half ago, it is hard to tell what the typical flower number will be. However, there were no blooms on these bellflowers when I bought them, and now they are laden with flowers. The plants droop a bit with such a heavy load of pretty petals, but manage to hold them all off of the ground. I might have this Campanula give some lessons to the peony.

Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ adds many beautiful purplish blue flowers to the garden. I’ll know more about its actual bloom length by this fall, and its hardiness by next spring.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' 8 bells
Campanula 'Summertime Blues' 8 bells

Here is a post I wrote showing this bellflower combined with pink carnations. You can also read about a wide variety of bellflowers that I grow in this previous post.

24 thoughts on “Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ a Tall Bellflower”

    1. Joanne, my longest flowering Campanula are the C. porscharskyana and C. rotundifolia, which bloomed for more than 4 months last year. Then the C. carpatica and C. cochlearifolia, which bloom for more than 3 months. These are supposed to be long blooming, so I’m assuming they will have a similar bloom length, but I’ll know more by fall.

      Shady Gardener, the only Campanula that I find too vigorous in my garden is glomerata. It was here when I moved in, and I’ve removed all but one group. The only reason I’ve kept that one group is because it looks so pretty with the iris and peony. Summertime Blues is supposed to be particularly well behaved.

      We’ve had very pleasant weather, with most days having a high of about room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F). I’ve been puttering about in my garden everyday. Today I did a lot of pruning of low tree branches that were in the way, and I edged the back garden bed by digging with my ice chopper and shovel.

  1. How are you campanula at multiplying? I know some varieties are fairly vigorous… Very pretty, though!! :-) How are things with you these days?? We’re having a return of some pleasantly coolish weather. I’ll enjoy that for awhile, as we had 90’s a couple of weeks ago (with a lot of rain, which made it positively impossible to be outdoors!). Happy Day! :-)

    1. Catherine, I wasn’t expecting this many blooms on them, so that’s a welcome surprise. I’ll see next year if it continues to have as many flowers.

      I have my plants that like a little more sun in this garden area, but a couple of maple branches had grown to shade this section, so today I cut back a few of them. It’s a little brighter now, so they should keep up the flower production. The lilac, peony and carnations should be a little happier too.

  2. NS – I planted lots of campanula – and glomerata is one of them. I hope I don’t run into the same luck as you did with them. Between the catmint and the monarda – I have enough “spreaders”!

    1. Beth, the C. glomerata look nice when they are in flower, but I find them much shorter blooming than all of the other Campanula. If I cut off the top flower after it’s done blooming, some of them will get some more flowers at the leaf axils, but its not impressive. Then, their foliage tends to deteriorate after blooming, and they are not attractive. They also spread too much. I would be careful about removing all spent flowers to keep them from seeding. I’ve removed most of the glomerata I inherited, and have just kept one small group, because the dark purple looks so nice with the pink peony and the yellow iris. The glomerata are my least favourite of the bellflowers, and I wouldn’t plant them in a new garden.

    1. The Garden Ms. S, I’m surprised that they keep their flowers off of the ground, since there are so many of them on each stem. It’s nice that they aren’t just at the top of the plants too. There are a lot of bellflowers blooming now that July is here.

  3. I have tried to find this flower this spring in my area (Toronto Ontario) but w/o success. By chance is there anyone in my neck of the woods who knows where I might look?

  4. After much searching in my area and beyond I *just* obtained a “Summertime Blues” (and a Campanula “Viking”). I am in Zone 5b in Ontario and am hoping that one or both of these Campanulas can tolerate (much) less than full sun. The tag for “Summertime” seems to contradict what I had read online in that the tag indicates full sun :( and full to partial sun for the “Viking”. It seems reversed from what I have seen on the web.

    So I am hoping I can benefit from your experience as many of the posts are over a year old. Most importantly is how much shade can Summertime tolerate and bring forth flowers?

    As well the one I picked up today from the nursery is tall and spindly and taller than I was expecting it to be when even at full height i.e the tag says 15″ but it is right now it is 25″!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Copperbeech, last year my ‘Summertime Blues’ grew to 27 in tall. I think the plants were a bit spindly, as they didn’t get particularly thick foliage, but they still got generous blooms hanging down. Mine are in part shade, getting maybe 2 to 3 hours of sun, and then some dappled light for the day. They flowered well last year, with a strong initial flush of blooms, and then they flowered intermittently until frost, in waves. There would be dozens of flowers when in bloom. They are back, but not yet flowering this year. Most of my other Campanula are just opening over the last week, so I expect to see the pretty steely blue flowers soon.

  5. I still have yet to plant my ‘Summertim Blues’ nor my Campanula ‘Viking Bellflower’ as I am still debating where to put each of them in our garden(s). I am still mulling over their height statistics and more importantly the suitable sun requirements.

    Of course you can’t argue with your success ‘Northern Shade’ i.e. your Summertime Blues is flourishing in shade conditions…right? But I can’t find any web reference that doesn’t list “full sun” for each of these Campanulas. My corner garden is definitely *not* full sun as it is mostly dappled with maybe with 2 hours of direct west sun.

  6. So I did plant a Summertime Blues about a month back. Is it necessary to deadhead the flowers to promote the growth of more bells?

    1. Copperbeech, I deadhead mine, and they rebloom, but I haven’t yet tried leaving one to see if it makes a difference in the number of flowers or length of bloom time.

  7. I didn’t deadhead mine and I can report back that the plant rebloomed beautifully. I like it very much and has flourished in my garden. Today I called the garden centre hoping to pick up another of these Summertime Blues but alas none left.

  8. My “Summertime Blues” have survived its first winter! I introduced many new plants into my garden last year and this was my favourite.

    (It it possible for me to post pictures to our posts?)

    1. #19, I really like Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’, too. The large bells, in such a pretty shade of blue, are attention grabbing. I combined them with some pink carnations, and the two looked good together. There is a link to the page showing the combination in my previous comment. However the bellflower bloomed for much longer, in waves all summer and into fall. I was thinking of adding some cottage pinks there, which flower for longer than the carnations, to give a similar effect as the carnations.

      Unfortunately, you can’t attach photos to the comments.

  9. Northern Shade wrote:

    “Unfortunately, you can’t attach photos to the comments”.

    That is too bad as such an option would make your superb site even better.

  10. Northern Shade – I live in Maryland, zone 7 and wonder if the ‘Summertime Blues’ campanula is self cleaning or does it need to have the spent flowers picked off. Thanks.

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