Northern Shade Gardening

Blue Bellflower and Pink Carnation

Monday, August 2, 2010 Category: Perennials

Pink and blue flowers make a pretty garden combination. These Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ (bellflower) and Dianthus caryophylus ‘Grenadin’ (carnation) bloom in midsummer in my zone 3 garden. The carnations add a little fragrance to go with the lovely summer colours of these perennials.

Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin' pink carnations

Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin' pink carnations

Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Grenadin’ are a hardy perennial carnation that come in a variety of colours. These carnations are a medium pink, but the photo above taken in the late evening gives some of them a red appearance. I’ve had these Dianthus for a while, and they are now a mixture of double and singles. These are usually short lived, but new plants can be made from the loosely connected sections that spread out, or from cuttings. Their scent is wonderful, and they always entice me to bend over and enjoy the fragrance up close. The leaves of Dianthus will be visible as soon as the snow melts, so this is another perennial that helps green up the garden quickly in spring. You can read more about this fragrant Dianthus here.

Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin' pink carnations with bellflowers 2

Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin' pink carnations with bellflowers 2

The carnations are actually sun loving, but manage to do okay in this part shade area, with some morning light and then dappled shade. Theses cottage flowers lean a little in this amount of light, but still get a good number of flowers. If I had a bright sunny area, I’d plant the Dianthus there, but I’m pleased with the way the colour of this pink carnation coordinates with the blue bellflower in this area of the garden.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' bellflower and Dianthus caryophyllus 'Grenadin' pink

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' bellflower and Dianthus caryophyllus 'Grenadin' pink

Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ has silvery blue flowers with large bells that hang down, flaring out at the bottom. Each plant gets multiple stems about 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 inches) tall, with somewhat sparse leaves,  so the amount of flowers is almost equal to the mass of foliage. In the photo below, you can see the plum coloured buds that will be opening soon to a steely blue. Here are more photos and information about Campanula ‘Summertime Blues’ from last year.

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' and Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin'

Campanula 'Summertime Blues' and Dianthus caryopyllus 'Grenadin'

These two perennials are about the same height, and the flower stems mingle together. In my zone 3 garden, the carnations bloom for about 4 weeks from July to August, and the ‘Summertime Blues’ bellflowers have a strong initial flower bloom, and then flower in waves intermittently until fall. There are some annual blue lobelia bordering this bed, that you can see in the upper left of the photo above. Beside these Campanula are some Phlox paniculata (tall phlox) in white and mauve that will be flowering soon, as they are full of buds. Just across the path bordering this section of the garden are some Campanula lactiflora (milky bellflower) with lavender blue flowers.

I have lots of blue bellflowers, and particularly like this combination with pink carnations. I also pair the other blue flowers with white, lavender or pink coloured flowers. Do you have any favourite colours to pair with blue flowers?