A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Great Foxglove Experiment

The Great Poppy Experiment was such a success early in the growing season, that I am now conducting The Great Foxglove Experiment. I haven't been able to get foxglove seeds to germinate for the simple reason that I have been planting them at the wrong time. I had been planting them in May when I planted my other seeds. The seed packet says to plant them in late summer. When is late summer? August? September? North Country Maturing Gardener put sowing seeds for biennials and perennials on her list of chores for July. That doesn't sound like late summer to me. So I decided to be guided by Mother Nature.

The mystery plant in the New World garden appeared to be some kind of digitalis. I am allowing it to go to seed. Any resulting plants will be moved into the Semi-Shady garden. The space where it is now is going to be turned into a Cottage Garden next year. I kept a careful eye on it. Sure enough, here it is the last week in July and the first pods have turned brown and started to release their seeds. Kudoes to you, North Country Maturing Gardener!

I have two packets of seed for Wild Foxglove. They are supposed to be purple with a few whites. Perfect for the Purple Garden and the new Wildflower Garden. The new packet went into the Purple Garden and the older one went into the Wildflower Garden. I had good germination from old seeds of lupines and wild columbine. Like Mother Nature, I simply broadcast the seeds into the beds. The directions on the seed packet were to plant the seeds 1/8" deep, but other sources recommend surface sowing and claim the seeds need light to germinate.

I am thrilled to report that the hosta I brought home from Rutgers Gardens has finally developed a flower stalk! All the other hostas in my town have been in bloom for the past week. I was hoping that it was merely the shock of being transplanted that was delaying it and I was right. I believe the rule of thumb is that transplanting anything delays blooming by at least a week.

More petunias have appeared. A second, bright pink, one is blooming close to the first, bright purple, one in the New World Garden. A bright pink petunia has also appeared in the Medieval Garden. I don't know where they are coming from. As far as I have seen, no one in my immediate neighborhood has been growing petunias.


At 10:16 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

I have some hostas that are only beginning to bloom now. They are a different variety than the plants that began blooming in June. In my yard, the variegated hostas bloomed first, and the solid green hostas second.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thanks for the tip, Kasmira. This is my first hosta, so I am still learning about them. You're right. All the hostas I've seen blooming have been variegated. Mine is solid green.


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