Known to us all as Foxgloves but correctly called Digitalis, these stunning plants are a welcome addition to the garden border and look right at home in a cottage garden style planting. I would have to say Foxgloves are definitely one of my top 10 plants - I adore them!
Foxgloves are also quite happy in coastal gardens as well as for naturalising in areas as they do self sow. Digitalis make the perfect foil in front of shrubs or are great for lighting up darker partially shaded areas. For maximum effect, they look great planted in groups or colonies and add a striking vertical element to garden borders and stunning also as part of a naturalistic garden planting. These beautiful plants will also add a touch of magic and informality to the garden.
You can often see Bumblebees with their little fuzzy butts backing out of the flowers after harvesting the nectar, and I always stop to watch whenever I see this in the garden, as it always looks so cute! Have a look at the picture below and see what I mean!
Can you see the little fuzzy Bumblebee butt in one of the flowers with another ready to zoom onto the little polkadot landing pad!
The name Foxglove is said to be derived from the shape of the flowers as they resemble the fingers of a glove "folks glove" which means belonging to the fairy folk. We always referred to them as children as fairy hats! Folklore has it that bad fairies gave the flowers to the fox so that it would wear them to lessen the sound of his footsteps as he was hunting. It was also believed that if you planted Foxgloves in your garden you would keep evil at bay!
Margaret Tarrant | The Hat Shop ~ Fairies & Foxgloves
These plants are known as a bienniel so in their first year of life they focus on forming a large rosette of leaves and then in their second year they boast tall upright spikes of pendulous funnel shaped flowers - you can see a few varieties that we sell below.
Digitalis purpurea ~ Foliage
Foxgloves can successfully be used as cut flowers and the trick to getting the longest vase life from a foxglove is to cut the stems before the bees find it. Once the flowers are pollinated, they then start to drop from the stems. The best time to harvest the flowers is early when just a few flowers are open. You can expect a vase life of around 6-8 days and if you use a flower preservative - you can see our recipe for it here from one of our Garden Journal posts previously this can also help to sustain the flowers for longer.
We have some gorgeous varieties which you can see below that we have planted in our gardens here at Puriri Lane .
Plants actually perform to their best in full sun or will cope with a bit of shade. They are happy in average soil but do like a well drained position.
If you are as addicted to Foxgloves as I am and want more Foxgloves inside your home, why not treat yourself to some of our beautiful Jane Hogben English Handmade pottery featuring Foxgloves - if you have missed out on getting one of these jugs - don't despair as we will be getting more in towards Christmas so pop your email down on the Waitlist for one.
Please note: The whole foxglove plant is poisonous. Although we have never had a problem, we do like to mention that all parts of the plant may cause severe discomfort if ingested and contact with the foliage may irritate skin. Please wear gloves when handling both plants and seeds. Plant out of the reach of children and animals.