Northern Shade Gardening

Elizabeth Oliver a Pretty Double Campanula

Sunday, September 19, 2010 Category: Perennials

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver double bellflowers

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver double bellflowers

Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ (double fairy thimble bellflower) have gorgeous light blue, double flowers on very compact plants. They are covered in a multitude of dainty blooms for many weeks in summer. Although I love all of the Campanula genus, this one has especially charming double blooms.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver flower closeup

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver flower closeup

Although tiny, there are over 50 blooms on each small ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ plant in midsummer. Each one is a perfect double flower, like a mini rose. The double bells face upwards and outwards, so it is easy to see their delightful shape. The beautiful blue coloured petals show up well, with the petal tips curving slightly outwards.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver dwarf bellflowers

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver dwarf bellflowers

Campanula cochlearifolia are very short, around 10 cm (4 inches) tall. The elfin plants make a great edging for a garden border. This groundcover spreads out to form a beautiful carpet, but does not bother other plants. This makes them perfect for underplanting taller perennials or shrubs, too.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver blue flowers

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver blue flowers

In zone 3, these fairy thimble bellflowers bloom from mid July through September, putting on a long flower show. Although the flowers look very delicate, they are actually very hardy plants, and have no problem surviving winters down to – 40º C (-40º F).

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver double petals

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver double petals

‘Elizabeth Oliver’ bellflowers get a good number of flowers in part shade. Mine are planted just a few feet south of a pine tree. They also have a fence a few metres to the south and to the east. A few maple branches stretch this far, and the  shadow of the willow tree reaches here in the late afternoon and evening. It sounds shadier than it is, as they get bits of sun at different times of the day, as well as dappled light. They thrive in this light, and flower well.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver with campanula carpatica behind

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver with campanula carpatica behind

I have my ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ planted with some other bellflowers. The photo above shows the Campanula carpatica (Carpathian bellflower) in a darker blue behind. There are also some white C. carpatica behind on the other side. Another double bellflower, Campanula ‘Haylodgensis’, is planted next to them, as well. The ‘Haylodgensis’ flowers are about double the size and especially attractive, too. There are some Muscari ‘Blue Spike’ (grape hyacinths) spring bulbs planted in between the perennials, to start the blue flower show in spring and extend the flowering time.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver with miniature flowers

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver with miniature flowers

The photo above shows how thick and pretty the flowers on ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ can be at their peak.

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' after the frost

Campanula cochlearifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver' after the frost

The first pictures are all from earlier in the season, but the bellflowers are still blooming towards the end of September, just not with as many blooms. The photo above shows the Campanula after the first frost this week. Even after the freeze, there are still pretty blue bells on ‘Elizabeth Oliver’. Their long season of flowering makes them great for edging up front. Any plants that can still show some flowers after the first frosts are appreciated in a short growing season.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver blue flowering groundcover

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver blue flowering groundcover

There are many Campanula on my favourite bellflower list, and all of them make great garden plants, but Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Elizabeth Oliver’  have a little extra charm, a cute petal form and a great colour.

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver fairy thimble bellflower

campanula cochlearifolia elizabeth oliver fairy thimble bellflower

You can read more about the double flowering Campanula I grow, and there are photos and information about other Campanula cochlearifolia in this post.

20 Responses to “Elizabeth Oliver a Pretty Double Campanula” »

  1. Köögikata :
    September 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

    It looks so lovely!!! Wonder, if we have them here too.

  2. Northern Shade :
    September 19, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Köögikata, they really are very pretty. They aren’t available around here very often, and I’ve only seen them at one greenhouse. I’m not sure why, since they would be good sellers when in bloom.

  3. Shady Gardener :
    September 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Northern Shade! This shady gardener is interested in ‘Elizabeth Oliver.’ Does she spread as aggressively as some other campanula varieties? I’ll have to look this one up. It’s really, really attractive! :-)

  4. Rebecca @ In The Garden :
    September 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    What a fancy little bellflower! The extra frills are so very dainty, I would be happy to add Elizabeth Oliver to my garden.

  5. The Garden Ms. S :
    September 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    They really seem to sparkle and dance – lovely! I had no idea they had such a long blooming period. What an asset.

    Great photos! :)

  6. Northern Shade :
    September 19, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Shady Gardener, ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ does spread, but doesn’t seem to bother other plants, and it’s easy to move, if you want.

    Rebecca, you wouldn’t expect the plants to be so hardy, with such dainty looking flowers.

    The Garden Ms. S, as the more tender plants start to die back with our recent cold spell, I’m happy to see the hardier perennials still carrying their flowers.

  7. Birgitta :
    September 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I have tried Elizabeth Oliver twice but she doesn’t want to stay.
    A lovely campanula.
    Birgitta

  8. Northern Shade :
    September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Birgitta, it’s too bad that the ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ Campanula didn’t last for you, since they have such pretty flowers. I’ve found it very hardy here, and the plants spread together to make a nice blanket of blue blooms.

  9. Barbara :
    September 26, 2010 at 2:57 am

    By accident I found this lovely double campanula in a garden center just a few weeks ago. I’ve got it in white and blue and I am very fond of it. The tiny flowers look like little roses :-) ! However, I wonder whether I’ll get it through our cold winter. Both plants still are in the pots and I think I’ll try to overwinter it this way…..so they are safe from slugs too!
    Barbara

  10. Northern Shade :
    September 26, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Barbara, the cold weather shouldn’t bother ‘Elizabeth Oliver’. Mine have survived outdoors over winter down to -40º C (-40º F), with snow cover. I don’t have many slugs, so I’m not sure how susceptible they are to them.

    Those exquisite rose-like flowers really are appealing.

  11. Barb :
    March 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Lovely, but WHERE to find seed?

    Any ideas?
    Thanks

  12. Northern Shade :
    March 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I haven’t seen any seeds around, just the plants.

  13. terri :
    May 31, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Does anyone live in New York here? I’ve been looking for them but can’t find any. Trying to get it in every color and the other double bell too.

  14. Northern Shade :
    May 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Terri, I’m not sure of a New York source, but I hope you find a source, since they make a great garden plant.

  15. sandra :
    May 11, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Terri, I just found them at Walmart here in New York. I love them.

  16. Northern Shade :
    May 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Sandra, it sounds like ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ is becoming more widely available now.

  17. sandra :
    May 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

    NORTHERN SHADE,
    I believe so. Are there any other colors that you know of?

  18. Northern Shade :
    May 11, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Sandra, I’ve only seen ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ in the light blue colour. It doesn’t produce seeds, so it is propagated by division, and they are all identical. You can see photos of another double bellflower in my other article, Campanula ‘Haylodgensis’. ‘Haylodensis’ has a somewhat darker purplish blue colour with larger flowers.

  19. Janet :
    September 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Several years ago I planted what I think was this variety in my yard after the flowers had faded just to see if it would survive and it did. It has grown steadily over the years until the plant is now about three feet across and this is the first year that I have seen any blooms on it at all. It has had buds before, but they never developed enough before frost to bloom. The plant itself seems very healthy with good color and leaf growth. This year it started to bloom about a week ago just around the edges. We live in the mountains of Utah and are a pretty solid zone 4. Is there anything I can do to encourage more blooms earlier in the season? I normally don’t fertilize my plants in the ground and they do well without it, but I am wondering if this plant needs something. I did give it some Miracle Grow a couple of weeks ago and I am wondering if that is why it actually bloomed a little this year. We could get frost anytime now, but I would love to have it bloom next year earlier.

  20. Northern Shade :
    September 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Janet, it’s frustrating to have plants bloom so late in the season when you are in a short growing season. Mine usually start blooming in July, and the garden is in a fairly short growing season in zone 3. I don’t actually add fertilizer, but the garden does get organic matter added to it from mulch and leaves. I’m not sure why yours are blooming so late, especially since your plants themselves seem in good health, and Campanula generally start flowering in early summer. Are the plants drying out too much in the summer?

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