Entries in foxgloves (2)


Beautiful April Garden

April may be the prettiest month in my garden.I recently had a garden party for the ladies in my church; over 90 people came! (Yes, we managed parking for everybody, and the garden came through completely undisturbed.) The weather was perfect, and we all had a great time. Everyone loves a beautiful garden. Would you like a brief tour? I will cover the woodland garden in my next post. Here are a few views around the patio and front garden:

Yes, that white flower in the front is Erigeron, also called Fleabane, a wildflower that is known as a common weed, though a very pretty one!

The following two images are of my first peony bloom, 'Shirley Temple.' I shot the top picture soon after the peony bud opened, after a heavy rain. The second photo is a few days later. Peonies are new to my garden this year, but not new to my heart, for I have loved them since childhood.

Columbine, purple salvia, Dianthus 'Bath's Pink' and a succulent called 'Blue Chalk Fingers.'

Penelope Rose is one of my favorites.

Romantica rose 'Orchid Romance.' I bought it because of its name!

This Voodoo Lily bloom did not open till the day after the garden party. Thankfully! The bloom smells exactly like a rotting corpse, and I was afraid it would spoil the party.

Foxglove 'Camelot'

Top row: Two views of Calibrachoa. Middle row: Blue Eyed African Daisy; Violas. Bottom row: Hybrid Columbine; Pink Dianthus.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. May you have a beautiful week!   Deb 




Foxgloves Are For You, Maybe

In the Old World there were fairies who befriended the creatures of the forest. Sympathetic to the plight of foxes, they made gloves of a woodland flower for them to wear when they raided local hen houses, making it easier to sneak in without being heard. And so the locals began to call that flower "foxglove".

Digitalis purpurea, a native of Ireland, gets its scientific name from the latin words for finger and purple, which describe the shape and color of this common form. An extract of a yellow species, digitalis lanatae, is used for digoxin, a heart medication which increases contractility of the heart and slows the heart rate. Remember that all foxgloves are highly toxic if ingested.

This beautiful flower grows two to five feet tall in moist, acid soil in sun to partial shade, zones 4-8. They sometimes live in zone 9 if given plenty of moisture and no afternoon sun. If you want to kill a foxglove, plant it in an exposed area with poor soil! While there are perennial forms, most foxgloves are biennial, meaning they grow the first year, then flower and produce seed the next, then die. I have had a number of foxglove volunteers in my garden, but I usually buy a few each year to add to their numbers. Foxgloves can be propagated by either seeds or division in early spring. My dream is to have a path through the woods, surrounded on both sides with foxgloves. It hasn't happened yet. I think my soil is a little too lean and dry in the summertime for them to truly prosper.

The taller foxgloves may need staking. I use thin strips of old panty hose to tie mine to slender bamboo stakes, painted dark green for camouflage. It is worth the bit of extra work to keep them upright. (The stretchy fabric of old hosiery also makes a great tie for other plants that require staking.)

With good growing conditions, foxgloves are a wonderful addition to a woodland or cottage setting. Beware, however, if you have pets or children that might eat them. And watch out if you have a hen house!