Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rose Campion and Canterbury Bells

I always like to check out the clearance plants at the end of the season because it's a cheap way to try out new plants.  Sometimes you get something you really didn't expect because its tag got misplaced or traded with some other plants. Last summer, I bought three plants labelled as Lamb's Ears (Stachys) but one of them turned out to be Rose Campion (Lychnis Coronaria)  What a pleasant surprise! I really like the strong branching shape of the Rose Campion, and the vibrant pink flowers.  It is a short-lived perennial , often grown as a biennial and it can handle a dry location.  Like most fuzzy- leaved plants, it doesn't like to be soggy in the fall. I have it planted on a slight slope so the drainage is good.  Apparently it self-seeds quite well, so I hope to have more in the future.  Also read that if I cut it back after the first blooms are finished, it may bloom again.

Another bargain from last year  is this Canterbury Bells plant. It is a tall plant and it flopped over so I picked the spray of flowers for inside.  They stayed looking fresh in the vase for over a week - a great cut flower.  I was so impressed that I bought another plant this year and planted it next to the arbour with the clematis so that I can tie it to the arbour to keep it from falling over. Now a couple of weeks later, I've noticed that the remaining stem where I broke off the flower stalk is making more buds so I guess I'll have some new flowers in August. It's handling the heat and dry weather in a half-shade location. Also comes in blue or white.

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