Campanula: Canterbury Bell

Height 30-90cm (1 -3ft)

Planting distance 30cm (1ft)

Flowers late spring to mid summer

Ordinary well-drained garden soil

Sunny or lightly shaded site

Hardy biennial

The Canterbury bell (Campanula medium) is a typical cottage garden plant – easily grown, showy in flower for part of the summer, but contributing nothing at other times. It is best planted in small groups where it will not leave large gaps when it has finished blooming.

Popular varieties

Several varieties of Canterbury bell are widely available.

‘Cup and Saucer Mixed’ is the traditional Canterbury bell variety. The flowers are delicate shades of pink, blue and white.

‘Double Mixed’ has a compact habit and reaches 75cm (21/2ft) high. The single flowers come in rose-pink, deep blue, white and violet.

‘Russian Pink’, a recent introduction, grows 38cm (15in) high and has delicate pink bell flowers.


Sow the seed outside in a seed bed in late spring or early summer. Move to the flowering site in autumn, or the following spring, setting the plants 30cm (1ft) apart. Any ordinary well-drained soil is suitable, in sun or light shade.

Pests and diseases

Slugs and snails may damage the leaves.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
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