Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower) are a great groundcover for part shade or medium shade, even growing under taller plants to make a layered effect. This groundcover produce pretty blue flowers over a long period of time, usually right past the first frosts. I added two new varieties of Serbian bellflower, ‘Werner Arends’ and ‘Blue Gown’, to my garden last year, to compare with the ‘Blue Waterfall’ variety I’ve grown for a while. The ‘Blue Waterfall’ that was so successful in the past completely died out over last winter, while the two added early last year, ‘Werner Arends’ and ‘Blue Gown’, are healthy and blooming well.
The four photos above shows Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’ which is the picturesque marketing name of ‘Camgood’. Last year it had masses of these gorgeous star-shaped blooms, with 5 narrow petals each, creating a beautiful effect.
Unfortunately, all of the photos of ‘Blue Waterfall’ are from last season, since they went AWOL, despite surviving the previous two zone 3 winters. I’m surprised, as I don’t think that last winter was necessarily colder. Also, ‘Blue Waterfall’ would easily flower right past the first light frosts in the fall, and was often one of the last flowers blooming in my garden. One year it bloomed right up to December, giving every appearance of extra hardiness. Since the other two varieties survived, and these appeared very healthy last fall, I don’t think it was a disease or infestation that destroyed them.
I could try replanting ‘Blue Waterfall’ (‘Camgood’), but I’ve decided to use one of the other varieties instead. Since I haven’t seen them being offered for sale this summer around town, I’ll divide the Blue Gown’ and ‘Werner Arends’ to start underplanting garden areas with a groundcover of blue flowers.
These three pictures above are of Campanula poscharskyana ‘Blue Gown’. It has the same 5 petalled blue flowers in a star shape, but there is a white bee in the centre, which makes the flower pop and stand out a little more. There are many flowers all over the plant, making a pretty sheet of blue. This perennial was right next to a ‘Blue Waterfall’, so it didn’t get a cushier siting, but it has survived the winter and is very healthy.
The three shots above are Campanula poscharskyana ‘Werner Arends’. The flowers of ‘Werner Arends’ have a slightly less noticeable white centre than ‘Blue Gown’. Just one plant has close to a hundred of these blue star flowers, radiating out on horizontal flower stems. This is a good choice for a blue flowering groundcover to cascade over an edge or wall. The multitude of blooms shows up well as a blanket of blue from across the garden.
The flower stems of all of these Serbian bellflowers are mostly horizontal, spreading out across the ground. With such low profiles, they fit neatly underneath taller plants, to make a pretty flowering carpet. They are perfect for underplanting shrubs that have a little space at their base, like Hydrangea. The Campanula poscharskyana form a pretty groundcover that keeps down the weeds, while providing beautiful colour. They also work well under taller perennials, colouring up the bare soil underneath my taller Actaea (bugbane). Here are more photos of how this Campanula can be planted under perennials. With the showy blue flowers, Serbian bellflowers make a terrific edging at the front of a garden bed. The trailing flower stems of this bellflower can cascade over a planter edge as well. However, in zone 3 they would have to be sited in the ground to overwinter.
When the flowering stems of Campanula poscharskyana start to fade, I just cut them off to start the next round of blooms. There are so many little flowers on every stem, that it is impractical to deadhead them individually, although I’ve done that in the past. I’ve experimented with leaving the old stems on, and they do seem to rebloom still, but removal makes for tidier looking plants.
The bees love these plants, as they do most Campanula. There are almost always pollinators buzzing around the blooms, flitting in and out of the stars.
I liked all three versions of Campanula poscharskyana that I’ve grown, with the blue flowers mostly having subtle variations. However, I would have to take back my recommendation for ‘Blue Waterfall’ in zone 3, after the total die off this winter. Two out of the three, ‘Blue Gown’ and ‘Werner Arends’, have proven to be hardy for me in Edmonton. I’ve read that in some climates they can grow too well, but I’ve never had problems with them doing that here. In a warmer climate, you might not want to plant them near more delicate perennials.
The picture below is of ‘Blue Gown’, showing the incredible number of little blue blooms that cover the plants.