Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 28 June 2010


I try to leave Foxglove plants where they self seed, this one is right next to a large Bay tree and I can see it from the kitchen window. Digitalis purpurea is biennial, so when it sets seed the plant usually dies, I'll collect the seed and scatter it in the areas of the garden where I would like it to grow.

Digitalis purpurea is a native British plant, and is perfect for a woodland edge wildflower garden. I have another Foxglove, in the garden – Digitalis lutea; I grew it for our previous garden from seed supplied by the RHS Members Seed Scheme. This is a perennial and also self seeds around the garden, and like the common native Foxglove it likes slightly shady corners. As you can see in the photo, the pale yellow/green flowers are small with turned back petals like pixie hoods. It's a pretty and stylish plant and like Alchemila mollis, it's a useful colour that sets off brighter flowers.

Now let me introduce . . .

This pretty plant grows next to the patch of Digitalis lutea, but the leaves are slightly larger and a darker green in colour. The flowers are larger and blushed with pink – knowledgeable plantsmen give it a second look and ask "what's that?". My guess is that it's a cross between D. purpurea and D. lutea and it's unique to my garden. It's survived about four years including the harsh winter we've just had, it doesn't set seed but the plant is slowly increasing in size. This autumn I think I'll carefully try to propagate another plant by splitting a piece from the side of the original plant. I think I should give it a name . . . any ideas?


  1. That's a lovely hybrid-how about Mittens? It's a baby pink sport of a foxglove : )

  2. There's an old house up the road that used to be a farm. They used to raise foxgloves for the digitalis - to be turned into heart medicine. The flower drying shed remains on the property, but the foxglove beds are gone.

  3. Digitalis purlutea? It's very pretty!

  4. I love foxgloves and grow purple and white ones but now I've seen your Digitalis lutea I am very envious.

    As for your new variety; how about Digitalis Celia Hart I can see that at Chelsea!

  5. We have lots of foxgloves too, the native wild species and others, and I love them. The border right at the bottom of the garden is allowed to go wild for the bees and so on, and is always full of different foxgloves, buddleia, and other 'weeds' or wildflowers, call them what you will, which attract hoverflies.... it is near the fruit and veg patch so we like to encourage the latter!

  6. They are very variable and cross like anything here. We had just purpurea when I first sowed the seeds. We then began to get paler and white ones. Then this year we've only got one purple! There's a fabulous peachy coloured one in one of the village flower beds that we tend. I'm going to collect some seds from that, for sure!

    I clicked on your page with horror - I thought someone had been eating your feathered assistants!

  7. Foxgloves are one of my favourites too. I've had some surprises this year thanks to a few barrowloads of my dad's compost. I've now got a glorious display in the front garden.

    Oh I love the idea of Digitalis Celia Hart - sounds perfect!

  8. I don't know what to name it, but it is beautiful!

  9. Oh it's lovely, somehow shyer and more subtle than the brasher version.