Chelsea Flower Show Open From What Time To What Time Growing Foxglove Varieties

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Growing Foxglove Varieties

Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea is a herbaceous biennial native to much of Europe. Thimble is a magnificent plant that has been cultivated in gardens for centuries and is a particularly common sight in cottage gardens. It is also grown for cut flowers and used as an herb for medicinal purposes. Like many plants, foxglove has slipped in and out of fashion with garden designers, but it seems to have made a comeback, featuring in a number of gardens at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Here are some of the most popular as well as more unusual varieties.

Wild foxgloves are biennials, meaning that it takes two years to develop from seed to flower. The first year of growth produces a rosette of long basal leaves, and flowers appear in the second year. Foxgloves thrive in part sunlight to deep shade and are naturally found in open woodlands, bogs and hedgerows. The flowers are usually purple, but some plants, especially hybrids, can be pink, pink, yellow, or white.

A very new and stunning variety is ‘Illumination’, winner of the Chelsea Flower Show plant of the year 2012. Unlike most foxgloves, which are usually biennials, this hardy semi-evergreen is a true perennial with stunning tropical pink and orange coloring. It grows to a height of 90 cm. Chinese foxglove or Rehmannia is also a perennial hybrid and is an excellent choice for challenging dry, shady areas as it thrives in difficult habitats where many other plants fail to thrive. It also grows to a height of 90 cm.

Foxglove ‘Polka Dot Pandora’ has architectural, apricot flowers. Since it is sterile, it will not self-seed, but the flowers are very persistent. ‘Dalmatian Peach’ has upright stems of peach-coloured trumpet flowers and is particularly stunning on cottage garden borders or in woodlands. It grows to a height of 100 cm. Thimble ‘Polka Dot Princess’ is one of the longest blooming thimble with bright pink flowers on upright stems. It grows up to 60 cm high. Foxglove ‘Summer King’ is commonly known as strawberry foxglove for its attractive strawberry rose flowers. Digitalis Summer King is a natural cross between the yellow-flowered Digitalis grandiflora and the lavender rose Digitalis purpurea. Thimble ‘Ianata’ is a type of thimble that can thrive in hotter/drier areas. Its flowers have a protruding lower lip of brown mesh, the rest of the flowers are cream. Alba, as the name suggests, has pure white flowers on upright stems.

Foxgloves can be grown in garden planters, especially compact varieties such as Digitalis dubia, a small species from the Balearic Islands. Those that grow in pots can be used to create a focal point.

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