The rain is back! To celebrate, we’ll look at a new area in the park today. Many of the flowers in this area are not blooming elsewhere in the park. (You’ll be happy to hear that the Colorado Springs Parks and Rec Maintenance Manager has agreed to meet with me to see the areas that we’ve been following, so that he can tell his crew to not mow them! Thanks Kurt!)

For a wrap-up of other areas and what’s been blooming, check out:
Natives Blooming in Monument Valley Park – All Posts

Creekside Area

Warning – Wear shoes you don’t mind getting a bit muddy!
Park at the small lot where Fontanero ends at the park, and walk west, down the hill. Instead of turning right at the dumpster, continue straight so that you’ll pass under the bridge.


Rumex crispus

On your way towards the bridge, you’ll notice a plant blooming on the right that looks like, well, rusty on top. This is Curly Dock (Rumex crispus). This non-native (a.k.a. alien) has large leaves that are wavy along the edges and the rusty stalks on top are the “fruit” or seeds; the flowers were green.

Campanula JN924-1Appearance

Campanulas are commonly called bellflowers for their attractive tubular, bell or star-shaped flowers. The colors range from vivid blue and purple to white and pale pink. Bellflowers form spreading groundcovers, trailing plants, and upright plants up to 5 feet tall depending on the variety.


Bellflowers are a large group of perennial, biennial and annual plants. Plant bellflowers by seed in the garden and cover lightly with soil. Mix the seed with sand to ensure even coverage. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and like amended, well-drained soil. Blooms should be picked off as soon as they fade to encourage continuous flowering. Perennial bellflowers can be divided in the spring or fall.

Landscape use

Depending on the variety, bellflowers are suitable for rock gardens, flower borders and wildflower gardens. They vary greatly in size and growth habits, so follow the planting instructions for your variety. The smaller groundcovers are good for rock gardens and terraces while the tall bellflowers stand out in borders and wildflower beds.

Contributed by Valerie Smith, Colorado Master Gardener. For answers to your horticultural questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at 719.636.8921 or

Photo courtesy of Joan Nusbaum.