The beautiful Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ (Hoffman’s Blue dalmatian bellflowers) are covered in violet blue flowers now. They are a very floriferous bellflower, even in a shady area. I have a long patch of this perennial all the way down the side of my house, so I’ve taken pictures along the way to show you what a beautiful carpet of flowers they make. You can read and stroll part way along. The purple blue carpet continues for 12 metre (39 feet).
The open bells of this dalmatian bellflower face the sky, so you can see the lovely structure of the curving petals easily, and the inside of the bell. The flowers last about a month, and give a terrific show while in bloom. You can see in the photos that there is hardly any green leaf showing when they are in full bloom, just a blanket of beautiful colour in the shade.
The bees like to visit these flowers. There is a constant buzz as I walk along the side pathway. It is difficult to take a picture without a bee in it. Bees are attracted to bellflowers, and they especially congregate along this patch. I particularly enjoy watching them squeeze their fat bodies into the bells.
After the flowers are finished, the dalmatian bellfllowers form a thick groundcover, that few weeds will grow through. There were maple keys here earlier, that I meant to get back and weed, but then the bellflowers filled out and suppressed most of the maple seedlings. I wouldn’t plant it next to delicate plants, but it works very well against the house foundation. I’ve read that Campanula portenschlagiana might be too vigorous in some areas, but I’ve had no problem with them here. Possibly ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ is more well behaved, or the zone 3 climate keeps them well behaved. I’ve also had no problem with them seeding to other areas like the Campanula glomerata (clustered bellflower) do.
These ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ bellflowers are squeezed in between the cement house foundation and a cement walkway, and have filled the narrow shady area. They even flower up and against the cement wall, and drape a bit to soften the sidewalk edge. The plants are about 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) tall when in bloom.
There is very little maintenance required for these perennials. You don’t even have to cut back the foliage in the fall. They are mostly evergreen, and the new growth hides the older foliage. It is very uplifting to see some green leaves as soon as the first snow melts in spring, and most of the landscape is still a dull tan. I give them some supplemental water, especially when they are flowering, but otherwise they look after themselves.
You can read more information and see more pictures in this previous post about these Campanula.
Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Hoffman’s Blue’ makes an excellent groundcover, requiring very little maintenance. For 4 to 6 weeks they are completely covered in the gorgeous bluish purple flowers, and abuzz with bees.