Magical, the "bell" trend in the garden!

Magical, the "bell" trend in the garden!

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Easter announces the start of the season of bells and bells in the garden… In chocolate first, but also in flowered version and even with many decorative accessories. Here are all the ideas for creating a garden that tingles and enchants, pretty but not complicated! The bell flowers are a "good plan" of the easy garden, and they are much more numerous than what one might believe: with a refined and delicate appearance, they are nonetheless robust. Most resist temperatures between - 20 and + 35 ° C, are naturally re-seeded and require very little maintenance. "We always have good feedback from our customers on these plants", underlines Cédric Basset from the Pépinière des Avettes. However, they require the utmost caution with children because they can be toxic (thrush, digitalis, etc.).

In soil or in pot, always delightful

Plant them preferably along the path that leads to the entrance of your house, magical welcome guaranteed! Ideally, this place is exposed to partial shade or to light sun, with cool soil and a neutral or even slightly acidic pH, and sufficiently sheltered from the wind so as not to damage the sometimes tall stems (up to 2 meters) of these bell plants. Most are lush and will grow year after year, so plan a nice flower bed and remember to cut the wilted flowers as soon as necessary to promote their future regrowth. Take the precaution to wait until all the leaves and clusters turn yellow before cutting them, as for a bulb: this will ensure regrowth in the best conditions. Plant them according to their size too (the tallest at the bottom of beds, the tapestries at the front of a border), and their flowering period to be able to admire them all on a daily basis and to ensure a beautiful sequence of outbreaks. Finally, you can plant them in a mixed planter or in pots (lily of the valley is very happy, for example), and even marry them with other plants in bouquets. With these bell flowers, you will amaze! Some genres are less known and deserve that you discover them…

Perennial, spectacular towns

It is lily of the valley that opens the way: first bell flower symbolic of spring which blooms from April and is traditionally offered on May 1, it is now available in new forms, variegated for example. You can plant in open ground after flowering (usually in the fall) the potted lily of the valley feet which have been offered to you: this rustic multiplies naturally and quickly in cool, moist soil, in the shade or in the middle. shadow. Coeur de Marie is also a perennial appreciated by novice gardeners and children, simply for its beauty and its ease of cultivation. Its bell shafts in pink, red or white tones are pleasant to partial shade and bloom from May to August.

Coeur de Marie, digitalis and snapdragon - Photo credits: Fotolia Digitalis is differentiated by its bells of more elongated shape and by its great height. Taller than lily of the valley and the heart of the city, it may need a staking but meets the same needs for fresh soil and semi-sunny, semi-shade exposure. It will flower from June to September. In the same style, the snapdragon also called 'wolf's mouth', is an annual with bright and varied colors, with large bells on stems that can reach 1.20 m ... To place in the sun! Still among the perennials, fuchsia is making a comeback. Flower adored by our grandmothers, it comes in many species which can be very different in terms of height and color - the fuchsia can even become a shrub. Its bells are very original, composed of a corolla, sepals, petals and a fairly long pistil. Blooming from May to October, don't forget to protect it from a winter veil in winter! More rustic, white or purple, the bellflower often grows spontaneously in rock gardens, from May until the start of the new school year. Its flowers can be bell-shaped ("bell bell") but also more elongated or star-shaped. We also like the Alice Hindley penstemon, which has lilac and white clusters; it looks a bit like digitalis and flowers from July to November, preferably in partial shade or in the sun. Or the polygonatum biflorum also called 'Solomon's seal', very elegant with white and green bells hanging in pairs. To plant in the light shade and in a clay soil, it is robust. The checkered fritillary is a perennial bulb. Its speckled bells in mauve, purple and white tones like partial shade and humidity. A protected plant! Allium bulgaricum (Bulgarian garlic) or 'Nectaroscordum' is a perennial about 1 meter tall that loves the sun and flowers from May to June. At the top of its rigid stem, the bells fall down forming a sort of umbrella, in purple and marbled white tones. Finally, the physalis, the famous 'love in a cage' flower that blooms from May to June, is particular in its production of a round, orange fruit, in its exposure to full sun and its limestone soil. It is an exception in bell flowers!

Bells even in heather

Pieris japonica (also called 'Japanese Andromeda') is a shrub with fine, pointed evergreens, the youngest of which grow in bright red. It decorates the garden superbly in spring and summer, especially as it flowers by making clusters of white, pink or red bells! Like most bell plants, it is hardy. Its only requirement: an airy and light soil, in partial shade. If you wish in the ground, make a hole in the garden at the chosen location, and replace this space of garden soil with lighter heather earth. Place a geotextile film before filling the hole with heather earth and planting the pieris there.
Pieris japonica - Photo credits: Pépinière des Avettes

Climbers: focus on clematis

Among the climbing plants, many species present flowers which resemble large bells, like the bignone campsis, or the akebia quinata, which begins to seduce more and more gardeners. But the most spectacular family is that of botanical (or 'wild') clematis, some varieties of which offer treasures of magnificent bells. They can be orange, red, bicolour, purplish, with an open or very closed bell, thick and fleshy ... The clematis fusca presents for example bells 1 to 2 mm thick (which is a lot!) In bright colors. Clematis viorna is an herb that will disappear in winter to surprise you again in spring. To place in partial shade (ideally head in the sun and foot in the shade), in well-drained soil and not too heavy with a pH between 6.5 and 8. Also discover (at La Pépinière des Avettes for example) the clematis tangutica which flowers in September, in full sun and even in stony soils; clematis rehderiana, a 3-meter climbing flower that blooms in late summer; and clematis urofila, which blooms in winter even at - 20 ° C! "Fragile, these clematis with bells? Not at all, they are on the contrary very beefy, reaffirms Cédric Basset of the Pépinière des Avettes. We have the same feet for 10 years in the garden without any maintenance". Also be interested in clematis ianthina, koreana, viorna… real little gems!

Akebia quinata, Clematis tangutica, Clematis rehderiana, Clematis fusca, Convallaria majalis Variegata - Photo credits: Avettes nursery

And among the shrubs…

The styrax (japonica or wuyuanensis, whose leaf size differs) is a small tree that blooms in May for three weeks, white bells and scented by the dozen ... A short flowering but so pretty, which does not leave indifferent! Its requirements: not too dry and neutral soil, acid tendency. He will enjoy himself in a garden with good soil in any region of France. The Inkiantus campanulatus, of the family of rhododendrons, is a shrub presenting beautiful colors in the fall, it then covers many bells in pink to red tones. Very floriferous, it likes a neutral to acid soil.

Styrax japonica, Styrax wuyuanensis, Enkianthus campanulatus - Photo credits: Avettes nursery Discover also the lesser known holboellias, latifolia or angustifolia, persistent flowers that bloom in April / May. The male and female flowers are different colors, two-color and very fragrant, and they bloom in clusters on the lianas of this plant, which can easily hide a fence - ideal because it likes with all exposures and in all types of floors! Finally, on the fruit side, the blueberry has small round bells during its flowering!

Complete the atmosphere with a suitable decor

Place cast iron, glass or wire garden bells in the vegetable patch (as at Esschert) - these can be decorative and protect salads, for example, or serve as a support for growing climbing plants. And during your afternoon snacks or dinners, serve at the table with very trendy casseroles. Finally, you can take up the idea inside the house thanks to globes with or without a base, to present your favorite decorative objects of the moment ... the ideal: display a small vase with a dried flower from your garden!

Credit: Alinéa - Conforama Thanks : - Yannick Ferraty, garden center manager at Gally farm in Bailly, - Marie Bourdry, decoration department at Gally farm in Bailly, - Cédric Basset from Pépinière des Avettes, - ideas outings offered by Yvelines Tourisme.