Digitalis purpurea Excelsior Group
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Instantly recognisable, Foxgloves are a real garden favourite for most people. They are very versatile, equally happy in the classic cottage gardens drawn by Beatrix Potter or the coolest contemporary schemes of modern gardener designers. They are biennials which means they grow one year, flower the next and then die. However, they are good self-seeders and once you have once plant in your garden, you should have them every year after. Fantastic plants for adding some height to the border without adding too much bulk. Bees love them.
Happy in full sun or part shade. They like a rich soil, so add well rotted farmyard manure when planting and water well in the very hot dry spells of mid summer (if we get any!) If you don’t want them to self seed, cut down flower spikes once they have started to fade.
May to July
Foxgloves are usually grown in the shade but are happy in the sun and look particularly good with lavender. In the shade try growing softer flowers like Hattie's Pincushion and Lady's Mantle to offset the really strident spikes of the foxgloves. For something bold and lush, plant with hostas like Hosta ‘Francee’ with it’s beautiful green and white leaves.
• Digitalis purpurea 'Sutton's Apricot' - beautiful apricot flowers and slightly smaller, 1m tall
• Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora - pure white flowers
height - 2m
width - 0.6m