You’ve got great taste Pam

Foxgloves were one of the first plants I grew from seed. They were not fancy ones but ‘Excelsior Hybrids’. They were fantastic. Unlike wild foxgloves that have blooms on one side of the stem these beauties produce their big flowers right round the stem and the colours, though not as exciting as more modern sorts, are a wonderful range of pinks, mauves, lilacs, white, salmon and primrose. I am sowing some now for colour next year after a rather more tasteful display this year of pure white foxgloves and ‘Pam’s Choice’.

digit pams choice2

I sowed them last February, which is a bit early to be honest but it meant I had nice plants to put out last May and they made stonking plants by autumn and I am reaping the rewards now as each is sending up several stems of flowers, and they are just beginning to open. ‘Pam’s Choice’ is basically a white foxglove that is heavily spotted and blotched with dark red. In poor light the flowers have an almost black and white effect. Because my plants are so strong and had a whole year to get up a head of steam the stems are almost 2m high though many descriptions say that this is a relatively small foxglove. I do not want to give misinformation so I will ignore most of what I have discovered about its origin on a trawl of the net but I am reasonably sure it was a Thompson & Morgan introduction and they may have bred it since they are one of the few UK retail seed companies to breed seeds. A nice feature of the plant is that the blooms are not massive but are freely produced. I often like giant flowers but it is also nice when a plant is perfectly proportioned!

Anyway it is a lovely plant and I will post a photo of them en masse when more are open. It seems that Thompson & Morgan are also responsible for introducing ‘Pam’s Split’ a variant of this elegant plant. In this abomination the tubular flowers are reduced to four separate petals. Do not believe the descriptions of how lovely this is; it looks as though it has been pulled through a hedge backwards, then run over with a mower – it is simply awful! The whole point of foxgloves is their beautiful, tubular flowers and the joy of watching the bees work their flowers (more on this in a few days if the bees bother to pollinate them and I can get a photo) and looking at a spire of shredded flowers is not good. (Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that one of the flowers in the top photo is splitting – I just hope I do not have a seed stock that is contaminated with the ‘splitting gene’)

digit pams choice4

Foxgloves are easy to grow from seed but the seeds need light to germinate so you must not cover them with compost. Fill your pot or tray and then water it. Sow the dust-like seeds on the surface and cover with a light layer or perlite – to help keep moisture around the seeds. Then put them in a shady place to let them germinate. The seedlings are tiny at first so you need to leave them to produce a true leaf so they are big enough to handle. Then transplant them into small-cell trays. You can sow between January (when you will need artificial heat) and July. From April onwards they will germinate in ordinary outside conditions (in the UK and Ireland). Foxgloves are biennials, meaning they are sown one year and bloom (and then die) the next but sometimes they can live a bit longer. However they usually selfseed and once grown you will probably have them forever. ‘Pam’s Choice’ comes true from seed though the spotting and blotching will vary. I would be quite happy for it to marry the pure white foxglove and I would welcome their children.

digit pams choice

Digitalis purpurea 'Alba' - just opened so rather more creamy than it will be when mature

Digitalis purpurea ‘Alba’ – just opened so rather more creamy than it will be when mature

 

 

 

 

, , , , ,

One Comment on “You’ve got great taste Pam”

  1. Harper Rodgers
    May 7, 2019 at 11:28 am #

    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you seem like
    you know what you’re talking about! Thanks.
    My wares: best corded electric mowers #agreenhand

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews

AltroVerde

un altro blog sul giardinaggio...

vegetablurb

four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!

Flowery Prose

Welcome to Flowery Prose! Growing words about gardening, writing, and outdoors pursuits in Alberta, Canada.

ontheedgegardening

Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to conserve the nations garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow

HERITAGE IRISES

An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: