I admit I like wildlife in the garden. Even if you do not, these stately and well-behaved foxes are welcome in anyone’s garden.
Foxgloves are a biennial. Many gardeners, eager for a quick and more permanent addition, have been reluctant to grow these grand flowers. After all, you have to wait two years for blossoms and then the plant dies.
‘Foxy’ foxglove is a quick study, perfect for the impatient gardener. It is a strain of foxglove developed to flower in the first year from seed. ‘Foxy’ has a zest for blooming. It grows so quickly, it will bloom about 5 months after sowing.
Oftentimes, freckles spot the cotton candy light or bright pink, or white, flowers. The blossoms hang from a stiff, upright flower stalk, which can often reach three or four feet high. The leaves keep a low profile. The large, tubular flowers are the celebrities.
Cold-climate gardeners can start the seed of ‘Foxy’ indoors in January, up to early April, and have blossoms in summer or fall. The plants shoot up remarkable stalks of flowers in the first year. They will die out after blooming.
Gardeners in zones 4-8 can grow ‘Foxy’ through the winter, planting the seed in the ground in August to November, earlier in the lower zones, later in the higher zones. Its blossoms open in March, April, or May of the following spring, depending on the climate. The seed can also be sown indoors early in the year.
Before planting, work in plenty of compost in the flowerbed. ‘Foxy’ tolerates sun but really shines in the shade. Plant it in groups out of windy areas. Some staking might be necessary if the flower heads are heavy. After planting, add a mulch to help keep the ground moist. Be sure to water deeply if rain is sparse. If ‘Foxy’ gets too dry, the flowers will wilt.
If lucky and the conditions are right, ‘Foxy’ will self-seed around the garden. Its offspring usually are white. What could be better, a tamed white fox in a shady garden nook?
NOTE: All parts of Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea), including the seeds, are poisonous.
A quick word about the words:
--Posted by Anne Moore March 25, 2007--
NASA Seeds in Space
From a National Gardening Association review:
"Since its [original] publication in 1978, ...Park's Success with Seed has been one of my favorite resources for starting seeds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers."