Biennials are plants that take two years from seed to flower. I currently have biennial hollyhocks in bud, for example. They grew all last summer as a basal rosette and this spring shot up a tall stock.
This spring I seeded out campanula 'Cup and Saucer', from a packet of seeds Rob picked up. The germination was fantastic and yesterday I separated the little seedlings into cells in flats. Two full flats of potentially gorgeous flowers! So now begins the work of keeping them alive all summer. Come fall they can be set out to flower next spring. I think the secret to biennials is to get them selfsowing in the garden, otherwise they are just too much fuss and bother.