We’re walking into the flower garden and checking in on the beautiful Bells of Ireland. I planted these by seed towards the end of March and before we begin I’m curious if you’ve ever tried growing this wonderful green stem?
Bells of Ireland is an annual summer flower, native to Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. In the language of flowers, it represents luck. I was first introduced this flower while working in a flower shop in the early 90’s.
That was a long time ago and I remember being fascinated with the detail and found it to be beautiful in vase arrangements.
Grew in Startle Garden Raised Beds
I grew them in my Floral Startle Garden and the only regret is that I didn’t plant one level down where the Snow on the Mountain is blooming.
Reasoning because when it rains the additional weight fills the bells making the stem heavy to stand. I thought they could have been slightly protected in the lower raised bed.
Sometimes these stems repair after rainfall and bounce right back if it’s a little windy; that didn’t happen after this week’s rainfall.
Member of the Mint Family
Belle of Ireland has rounded leaves that are pale green with little white flowers surrounded by apple green calyces. This fast-growing plant can reach up to 4 ft. per stem and offers a branching out display.
It’s also a member of the mint family and that little white flower puts out a very strong scent. This made me think it also detoured a lot of insects. because this whole area has been bug free with the exception of honey bees.
Prior to planting I researched the growing conditions and discovered it was unlikely to do well in hot or humid climates. We have both here and for that reason I planted early knowing it would expire by the first part of July.
For those of you further north this beautiful plant should grow all through summer.
- Full sun and good soil drainage.
- Fertilize soil prior to planting and add natural liquid fertilizer in the early summer.
- Can grow up to 4 ft, place as a backdrop in flower beds.
- Seeds can be started indoors but do better with direct seed when it’s still cold outside but not freezing.
- In wet climates it can reseed itself.
Harvesting for Fresh and Dried Arrangements
Now you’re going to find out why I planted this beauty. I love this flower dried and plan to harvest the stems by air dry this weekend. Before I do this I also wanted to enjoy a few as fresh cuts.
Harvest these stems for flower arrangements when half of the bells on a flowering spike are open. When growing bells of Ireland for drying, allow the spikes to remain on the plant until all the bells have opened.
Because this plant has several blooms on one stem I removed a stem with sheers and then cut the shoots making several single stems. Then I placed 3 – 5 stems in little mason jars with water.
This flower is also beautiful with star gazer lilies, larkspur and cork screw willow.
I kept things very simply and just displayed a few stems in my Welcome sign that hangs on our Tiny Shed. I have been enjoying this project since March never tiring from changing out the jars with something natural.
Just make sure to add striped stems to the water so it stays clean.
It’s a little late in the season to get this beautiful flower started in your garden now but think about adding it next spring to your growing list.
Seeds can be purchased online at Burpee or Johnny’s Selected Seeds and if you shop around I bet you can even find them at your local nursery.
It’s incredibly easy to grow the beautiful Bells of Ireland and who knows it may also bring a little luck to your garden space.