I love it when something I am working on in my mind coincides perfectly with the Weekly Photo Challenge! I have been snapping photos of my two favorite Campanulaceaes – Balloon Flower and Bell Flower two flowers that fit this week’s theme of carefree. Their cheerful form and rich color embody the carefree feeling of summer and they are delightfully easy to care for with the Balloon Flowers in particular being virtually carefree.
The Balloon Flowers (Platycodon Grandiflorus) have a deep tap root and rarely need watering unless the weather is unusually dry. There is something about the balloon shape of the buds that makes me smile. 🙂 I started mine from seed many years ago and now have clumps in nearly all of my garden beds. They started out a deep, purplish blue and now some of the offspring of the original plants are a lovely white.
The Bell Flower (Campanula) blooms a few weeks earlier than the balloon flower and are a similar color so if you plant both in your flower beds you have weeks of this rich shade of blue to enjoy. (I have some white offspring from these plants as well.) They are more shallowly rooted and seed themselves more readily so you may need to pull some or transplant some if the patch gets bigger than you like. With shallower roots they need a bit more watering during dry spells than their cousins as well.