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digitalis

Posted by tomswpa Z5b (tomforlife@comcast.net) on
Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 0:13

Photos from the book "Tasha Tudor's Garden" have inspired me to try my hand at foxgloves again. I planted the excelsior hybrid successfully a few years back but in general want to step away from hybrids as much as possible. Tasha's foxglove variety were not identified in the book but were at least five feet tall. The author of the book attributed their success to compost tea. Does anyone know if the giant Shirley are hybrid? Can't find the information on the two websites were I found the seed available for purchase. Tasha's website offered the seed she planted a decade ago but no longer does.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: digitalis

I'm so partial to these plants also. Have been growing a
few from winter sowinng. I ordered some from one of my
nursery catalogs this year. I'm sure you could google and
perhaps find what you're looking for. Good luck.


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RE: digitalis

hello, I saw a website that said the Giant Shirley reseed themselves readily so I think this means they aren't hybrids, but I am not an expert!
roseberri


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RE: digitalis

I've never had any luck growing these from seed. Any advice?


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RE: digitalis

I don't know what kind mine are, I have both pink and white ones. They reseed all over my garden in the most inconvenient spots, it seems at least here surface sowing is the way to go, perhaps they need light to germinate? I should be able to collect seed later on if anyone is interested. Here's a picture of some pinks. Annette


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RE: digitalis

...and some whites. They seem to prefer growing in gravel paths rather than soil around here.


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RE: digitalis

Yes, Giant Shirleys are hybrids, according to the Armitage book Specialty Cut Flowers. They will reseed, though you won't exactly get new Giant Shirleys.

ThinMan


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RE: digitalis

I love digitalis. Mine have never survived here-maybe the clay soil is just too heavy. I do have one other spot to try that may be slightly better than the spots I have tried in the past. Annette, your pictures are just beautiful.

Cynthia


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RE: digitalis

Those are beautiful! I would try strawberry foxglove. I have a few growing in a pot on my balcony here in Richmond, VA but they are just now starting to bolt up to flower. I'll post pictures in a few weeks when they're showing buds. They are apparently the only reliable "perrennial" foxglove. I put it in quotations because they are reportedly short-lived perrennials. They have extra fuzzy flowers.


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RE: digitalis

The only digitalis I have had reliable good luck with is d. ambigua. It is perennial, light yellow and a bit shorter, with slightly scalloped petals. Others that I've had good luck growing as an annual were primrose carousel and foxy (both have a tendency to bloom the first year).


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RE: digitalis

Oops, forgot the yellow foxgloves with skinny leaves!


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I start seeds fairly easy. I just seed on top of soil and press them in. I use the plastic containers from McDonalds and Wendys that salads come in. They are perfect little greenhouses. My problem is that they don't self seed very well and only last a year or two in the spots that I plant.
Debby


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RE: digitalis

Debby,

Those are beautiful! What kind are they?

-Bellarosa


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I participate in a lot of seed trades and these seeds came in a paper envelope marked foxglove. Wish I knew what kind.
Debby


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RE: digitalis

I grew foxglove from seed via winter sowing in 2010 & planted out several in my garden beds. One or two returned the following year but the rest disappeared. I wasn't surprised since I knew they performed as biennials but was definitely disappointed.

Fast forward a few years to 2013 and my daughter, whose plants had come back year after year for nearly half a decade and she's now given up on them same as I have.

Much as I enjoy them, they've come to require more effort than I'm willing to expend when other perennials are much more reliable & carefree.


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RE: digitalis

I had some that got at least 5 feet tall. They were my dream foxgloves. I was similarly inspired by Tasha Tudor. They were just Foxy Foxglove though and those aren't supposed to get that tall. It took about 4 years for them to get that tall and I did use a lot of composted manure around them the fall before they got their biggest. But we had a very cold winter this year and it killed them :/ Here is a picture of them next to an arbor to give an idea of their size.


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RE: digitalis

Saponaria, WOW! Worthy of a magazine cover.

Annette


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Wow! Those are beautiful! I actually sowed a few different varieties of foxglove a few weeks ago and they are coming up! I even had a packet of Tasha Tudor foxglove seeds that I sowed in a milk jug - those are coming up! I'm so happy. This is my first time growing foxglove and so, I can't wait to see what comes up.


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RE: digitalis

Thanks for all of the posts. Here's a link to a picture I found on the web that was in the book I mentioned and what made me start this thread. Those are some huge and healthy looking foxglove.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tasha Tudor's foxglove


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