Digitalis : Foxglove
Foxgloves are one of the most common of British flowers, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them in the garden. You can get foxgloves in a whole range of colours these days, we use a white variety in our designs. But if you spend money on a more unusual variety, or you want to keep the ‘purity’ of the colour you have, you will have to do a little work.
As you can see from the picture, our busy bee friends love digitalis, and they don’t worry if they have gone to a purple one before they get to your white one, which results in cross pollination. Now you can’t stop the bees feeding, but you can stop the flowers seeding, by simply cutting down the spent stalks. The upside is that you don’t get hybrids growing.
The downside is that Foxglove is a biennial plant, so after it flowers in the second year it will die, so if you want to keep the purity of the variety going, you will have to buy more plants. If you leave the flowers to self seed, you will get cross fertilisation and the tendency will be for the plant to revert more to the normal pink variety, but as that one is really pretty, so should we really mind?
Lastly, Digitalis is poisonous, but so are daffodil bulbs and many other common garden plants and just as a gun isn’t dangerous unless some idiot uses one…a plant isn’t dangerous unless you ingest it!