Up with Foxgloves

By Susan Littlefield

Foxgloves are quintessential cottage garden plants, their tall spires of softly-hued flowers adding a vertical accent to the billowing silhouettes of so many other bloomers in early summer. But on most varieties the bell-shaped florets point downward on the stalks.

Now comes a new variety from Thompson and Morgan with unique, upward facing flowers in a delectable mix of pink, rose, white and lilac. Digitalis purpurea 'Mountains Mixed' will fill the garden with 36 to 56 inch tall spires of bloom in early to mid-summer, their upturned blossoms making it easy to appreciate the entire floret, inside and out.

'Mountains Mixed' foxglove is a hardy biennial that does well in zones 4-8. Started from seed 8-10 weeks before the last frost date, it may occasionally bloom the first year. Foxgloves thrive in sun or part shade and average soil and mix well with many early summer bloomers, including other cottage garden favorites such as roses, catmint, peonies and bleeding heart.

For more information on 'Mountains Mixed' foxglove, go to: National Garden Bureau.

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