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Campanula companions

I've got a bit of new bed. Partial shade, clay soil but with fairly nice well drained top soil. In County Durham so maybe down to -8°C or so.

I intend to put in some white Campanula persicifolia. I want to partner it with some tall-ish orange and red flowers (ornamental and Welsh poppies maybe, or perhaps a nice geum to peep up between the campanula flowers).

I'm pondering on what lower flowers to have near the front and/or to suppress weeds. Colour scheme is white with yellow/orange/red accents.

I've no idea how robust campanula persicifolia is. I presume something like vinca minor would be too much, but would some white geraniums work? Or anemone nemorosa to cover in spring and then bugger off for summer? White violets? Phlox subulata?

Any thoughts welcome!


  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    There are quite a few tallish red/orange flowers but less that deal with shade. Astilbes. I think most poppies like sun.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,260
    Some of the 'daisy' perennials will manage a bit of shade, as long as they have support from other plants, or just a physical support. It would depend on how much shade, and whether it's partial shade all the time - ie from other plants/buildings etc, or if it's sunny for 5 or 6 hours then shady. I have some in a border which gets sun all morning, and is shadier by about 2pm, and they're perfectly happy. 
    Crocosmia would fit your scheme. Most of the cultivated types are well behaved. You could stick a Euphorbia in there too - avoid the big, invasive one though - whose name I've instantly forgotten...   :/
    You could certainly use some spring bulbs but the little woodland anemones are very small, so they might get swamped.
    Something else you could try is wild rocket. It'll grow in shade or sun, and has little yellow flowers. Totally hardy here, even in harsh winters. It seeds around, but would give you a burst of yellow in among other plants. The flower stems get to around 2 - 2.5 feet or so  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 889
    edited August 2021
    Welsh poppies will be perfectly happy in partial shade. We have some Crocosmia George Davidson in quite a shady spot and although it’s not increased in size it flowers each year. 
    We have Campanula persicifolia self seeding around the shadier areas of the garden, it doesn’t seem to mind any competition. One of the areas it pops in is quite densely planted. 

    Aster divericata grows well in shade. White flowers in late summer and pretty foliage. It has a new name now but afraid I can’t remember it 🙄 

    Iris fortidissima has very delicately coloured flowers (yellow, lilac, buff) but the seed pods burst to expose bright orange/red seeds which last all winter. 

    Edited - just remembered it’s Eurybia divericata
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,453
    Personally l would avoid the Vinca. There is a white variety called Gertrude Jekyll, but in my experience it spreads like wildfire and is not particularly floriferous.
    I have a white hardy geranium called Kirsty which is very pretty and tough.
  • Thanks everyone.

    It's shaded from direct sun part of the day but by no means a shady spot, if you get ne. I'm not sure how many hours of direct sun it gets. I'll try and observe over the next few days.

    I'll look at the asters, crocosmia and astilbe for the orange and red highlights.

    It sounds like the campanula will cope with a bit if ground cover then?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,260
    Yes- the campanula will be fine. When I was out earlier, I spotted some day lilies - those would also be fine. Lots of suitable colours for you  :)
    I also noticed some Hypericums. Although I like yellow, I hate the colour of the [garish] yellow flowers, but the berries at this time of year and into late autumn are a great foil for other plants. You might be happy with the flower colour though  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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