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This is Digitalis purpurea. Yes, it grows like a weed in Britain. It takes a little more work in my hot, dry North Carolina woods.
That life cycle means Foxgloves are a biennial–one of the those plants that grow one year and flower the next. Then they die or at least look like death warmed over, so I pull them out.
I do sometimes see foxgloves for sale in big box stores–in bloom and marked “Perennial”. Don’t buy them. Buy seeds instead, or make friends with a foxglove grower like me, my sister or my good pal Susan.
I’ll put the first 5 or so who want to try it on a seed waiting list. Leave a comment and let me know. And Happy Spring!. Don’t you love this cool weather>
The Tall Bellflower, (Campanula Americana) is a great plant for Southern Gardens. I marvel that more people haven’t heard of this very lovely flower.
Maybe because it’s one of those hard to classify Annual/Biennials.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what I’m talking about. It took years for me to get a handle on the biennial group.
But the journey was well worth it. Many of my favorite plants grow from seed one year, and flower the next.
Think of Campanula Americana as a taller, more heat tolerant larkspur–one that can take sun or shade.
My original seeds came from the Fragrant path and are still available for a mere $2.
Here’s what these fine heirloom seed growers say about the plant. ( Note: They garden in Nebraska. Like many plants, Tall Bellflower behaves rather differently here in the South)
Campanula Americana (Tall Bellflower)
Strictly an annual, but when treated as a biennial will
give the more magnificent plants…
with its straight, unbranched stems to five or six feet, bearing small blue
flowers in profusion. All in all, distinctly useful and beautiful for the moist shady garden. Zone 4
I love them too. Tina James Evening Primrose is the best thing in my yard right now. But you’ll probably never find plants for sale.
Instead, do what I do–buy seed and start them outdoors this summer. Here’s a link to my favorite seed source, the Fragrant Path.
Or you can ask me, Melissa, or my mom for some seeds or a plant. Fortunately, Tina James seeds all over the garden.
It’s a “biennial”. That’s a plant that grows foliage one year and blooms the next, then passes on to the compost pile.
Biennials are a wonderful class of plants for the South where winters are relatively mild. Foxgloves are a great example. Honesty, aka money plant, too. But Oenothera glazioviana (Tina James Evening Primrose) is the flashiest biennial I know.
Like mom says, it opens right before your eyes. (Think time-lapse photography with out the camera)
Garden writer Tina James, who discovered it, was said to have Primrose Parties to watch the blossoms unfurl. (It helps that this happens at cocktail time)
One caution: All primroses are not created equal. There is rampant pink one that will take over a garden or lawn. Make sure you are getting “Tina James” unless you happen to want your lawn taken over.