Growing bells in the garden
Among the flowering herbaceous perennials, bells in my garden have a special place. They fit well into the design of the garden: tall - at the fork in the tracks and in the compositions; the middle ones are in the mixborder, near the stones against the background of conifers, and the low and dwarf ones are on the alpine hill and even in containers. Among the vast bluebell family, the most common is the Campanula genus, or Campanula (Campanula) It got its name from the Latin word ‘campana’ - bell, for the corresponding form of inflorescence.
The cultivation of wild bell species in gardens began in the Middle Ages. In Russia, they adorned both court gardens and noble estates; they were loved and revered by gardeners from the middle of the 16th century. For a long procession of bells in the gardens of Europe, their particularly interesting forms were selected, the most decorative varieties were bred.
In Russia, bells have long been loved. They were affectionately called pigeons, kupavs, bowlers, natives, bells ... There was a poetic belief that on the night of Ivan Kupala you can hear a quiet bell ringing.
Bells were loved not only for their beauty, but also for their excellent healing qualities. Decoction of leaves and stems treated headache, tonsillitis, cough, erysipelas, gastric diseases, epilepsy and many other ailments. And some types of bells can be eaten, enriching the body with mineral salts and ascorbic acid.
The love of bells was passed down from generation to generation. And this is natural: the beautiful decorative and healing qualities of these flowers cannot leave indifferent enthusiastic flower growers.
The first bells that appeared in my garden were wild species: crowded, broadleaf, spreading, nettle leaf, peachy, rotundifolia. They have been grown in culture for several centuries.
These types of bells in central Russia grow in meadows, forest glades, along forest edges and river banks, in ravines. They do not represent much labor for growing in the garden. They do not tolerate only stagnation of waters, which leads to their soaking, and excessive fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers in the second half of summer - then they are soaked so that in spring there is no trace.
You can’t classify bells as perennials, but this drawback is compensated by simple reproduction methods. Seeds retain germination longer than other perennials (up to 5 years), and when stored in a cool place for longer.
I resort to propagation by seeds if the plant has an elongated, deeply leaving rhizome, as, for example, in a broad-leaved bell. But many species can be propagated by careful separation of young outlets in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season. And varietal and terry forms of bells, I cuttings from the moment of growth until mid-June in a greenhouse or just under cut plastic bottles. Cuttings quickly take root, if they are treated with the drug "Kornevin."
Gradually, I replaced my wild plants with more decorative varieties. I was happy when I got a grade Superba the bell is crowded: it has large, saturated blue-violet flowers, lush inflorescence is a bouquet. Widely decorate the broadleaf bellflower variety garden Alba and Mcranta, terry varieties of bell peach ...
With experience, the desire came to grow bells from more southern latitudes. Various varieties became favorites in the garden Milkflower bell, a tall, plentifully flowering plant with flowers of various colors up to 4 cm in diameter, collected in large racemose inflorescences.
No problem growing with me speckled bell, received this name for the purple dots, covering pink, slightly dirty, drooping inflorescences. This bell grows well and, very valuable, tolerates shade.
With the advent of the Alpine slide in the garden, stunted bells became the favorite. They are a true decoration of the rock garden, especially in the first half of summer, but also faded with its diverse foliage complement the harmony of plants and stone.
The most common of the bells suitable for an alpine slide is Carpathian. Single, non-drooping, funnel-shaped white, blue, purple flowers please the eye for a very long time - almost all of June and July. The Carpathian bell is unpretentious, winter-hardy, but does not like anxiety and frequent transplantation.
It looks touching on a hill bellflower. Its height is small - no more than 15 cm, but thin, creeping leaves form a real cascade with drooping white, blue or blue flowers, depending on the variety. The plant is decorative and after flowering due to beautiful, small, semi-oval leaves.
High decorative features bell gargan. Although not tall, up to 15 cm, while staying in abundant flowering with blue "stars", he adorns the hill the whole of July.
Around the same time blooms bell of Pozharsky. Its flowers are collected several at the ends of the shoots, due to which bright accents are created on the hill.
Exceptionally stable mat forms Portenschlag bell. It is low - only up to 15 cm, but it is favorably distinguished by flowers of a warm reddish-violet color. In particularly cold winters, this kind of shelter does not interfere.
One of the smallest - three-toed bell, it reaches a height of only 10-15 cm. The corolla of its flowers is light lilac with a white center, with five branches, and narrow whole leaves with three cloves, for which he received his name. This baby bell is very touching with its fragility.
The variety of bells is so great that it constantly fuels the desire to replenish their collection with them. The genus of bluebells has more than 300 species of plants, most of them are suitable for growing in the gardens of our zone. They are quite cold-resistant, and only immigrants from the Mediterranean need shelter for the winter, either with a dry leaf, or with spruce branches, or simply with covering material. Therefore, acquiring a new bell, I always determine its appearance, reveal the "homeland", and from here I already build agricultural technology.
The most difficult to grow mountain species. At home, they grow among calcareous rocks, where the stone is not only a habitat, but also a food. In the garden, they can grow only if the soil is liming. These bells include: bearded, garlic leaves, Memoiries, trident, Bieberstein, Osh and others. But, believe me, it’s a great pleasure to see the colorful bloom of various bells almost all summer. And for the sake of it it is worth working hard!
Author: V. Myagkaya