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The tall spires of a stand of foxglove, rising up in the garden in early summer, is a sight to behold. Most are biennials, that is, they need two years to bloom and then die in the fall. But if you can get a stand going, they'll reseed so prolifically it will seem they're perennials.
To be successful with foxgloves, they must have rich, moist, well-drained soil and light shade, especially in the afternoon. (They'll do fine in full sun in the northern third of the country.) These tall plants also need to be out of any wind. Plants may rebloom if deadheaded after the first flush of bloom.
garden plans for Foxglove
more varieties for Foxglove
Digitalis purpurea is a short-lived self-sowing perennial or biennial. They are a mainstay in cottage gardens. Zones 5-8
Digitalis purpurea 'Foxy' blooms reliably from seed its first year with 2- to 3-foot-tall spikes of pink, purple, white, or cream with maroon markings. Zones 5-8
Digitalis x mertonensis bears strawberry-red bloom spikes up to 3 feet tall. Divide plants every two to three years to maintain vigor. Zones 4-8
Digitalis lanata is an Eastern European native that grows 1-2 feet tall and bears bicolor white and brown flowers in June and July. Zones 4-9
plant Foxglove with
Lady's mantle looks great in the garden and in a vase. Its scalloped leaves catch rain or drewdrops, making them look dusted with jewels. The chartreuse flowers appear in playful, frothy clusters above the foliage. Lady's mantle is ideal for softening the edge of a shaded path or creating a groundcover in dappled shade.
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.
Glossy leaves, stellar blue flowers, quick coverage -- periwinkle is an ideal coverage for shade. Its only flaw is that it's so popular it's become underappreciated.Prepare the soil well prior to planting and add humus to retain moisture. Keep the plants cut back to encourage bushy growth, and to keep them within bounds. Periwinkle can become invasive.