I like to try new plants and the year before last bought a pot of Campanula punctata – ‘pink octopus’ as it felt like a fun thing to have. Its buds are like little lanterns which open out with delicate spidery pink petals that do indeed have an octopus-like feel about them.
Quite naturally Peter and I dubbed them Cthulu plants and were quite excited at the prospect of seeing them in the garden.
I have lost the label now so can’t look it up but feel sure that it was sold to us as 50cm plus – whereas it barely reached 35cm (the height as given by the RHS) with the consequence that in the borders where we had hoped to see it thrive it was barely to be seen among the other perennials.
Some listings also tell you that this is an evergreen or semi-evergreen plant… not in (un)sunny Staffordshire it isn’t! Here it categorically dives under ground for the winter months, to emerge sometime in april – though this year it is a little late because of the cold and wet we had though early spring.
I tried taking it out of the border for the following year and put it into a pot on its own but the effect was not a great deal better. In point of fact it sulked somewhat and hardly put on any flowers at all!
Its seldom that I give up on a plant, especially if its a little unusual – so this year I have decided to give it one more chance as an edging plant in a much taller pot – one where its pendulous flowers can be seen without getting down on hands and knees!
This planter did house a large climbing jasmine but that had succumbed to last winter’s cold and I have used it for an everlasting sweetpea – another plant that has done the rounds of the courtyard in search of a home that suits its need for sunshine and vertical support. (Also put in some annual sweet peas with it for scent).
There is still room for other things in the pot but not made my mind up as to what they should be.
I have added a stoneware bust of HP Lovecraft made by Peter a few years ago to watch over his cosmic vegetation and hope that our Cthulu plant has finally found its place