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Chicago Botanic Garden rates bellflowers

Campanula 'Sarastro' rated at the top in Chicago Botanic Garden trials. (Photo courtesy Terra Nova Nurseries)

Campanula 'Sarastro' rated at the top in Chicago Botanic Garden trials. (Photo courtesy Terra Nova Nurseries)

One of the most tempting plants at garden centers is the bellflower, which always seems to be blooming.

Bellflowers (Campanula) are long-blooming perennials or biennials. In general, the plants spread by underground rhizomes, making some of them extremely invasive, so be careful about your choices.

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Add sparkle to landscape with silver plants

Plant sheen — ‘Excalibur,’ a silver-leafed lungwort (Pulmonaria) shines in the shade when paired with a solid green Hosta. © Karen Bussolini

Plant sheen — ‘Excalibur,’ a silver-leafed lungwort (Pulmonaria) shines in the shade when paired with a solid green Hosta. © Karen Bussolini

There are lots of reasons to like silver plants.

First, most silver plants are deer resistant. Second, they are usually drought tolterant and third, “silver is really pizzazy with other colors,” says Karen Bussolini, who with Jo Ann Gardner, wrote Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden (Timber Press, $34.95).

“Once we started comparing notes on what silvers we had grown, we came up with a really long list, both of silvers we had killed and ones that had been successful,” said Bussolini, who lives in Connecticut. She will speak about these shimmering garden jewels at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 10 at Woodstock Club, 1301 W. 38th St., Indianapolis. The lecture, sponsored by the Indianapolis Museum of Art Horticultural Society and the Indianapolis Hosta Society, is free and open to the public.

While Bussolini traveled the country looking for gardens and interviewing gardeners, Gardner remained on her farm in the Adirondacks conducting research. They spent four years working on the book, said Bussolini, an award winning photographer whose images illustrate the book.

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