Friday 17 July 2015

Apricot Foxgloves

I have just picked the last of my apricot foxgloves for 2015 and, as always, they have been a much awaited lush and  dreamy bloom. I will miss them, but that’s the joy of immersing oneself in true seasonality - anticipation, abundance, then absence which mirrors life's lessons beautifully, with patience, joy and sometimes loss. For me, there is nothing more romantic, nostalgic and iconic in the flower garden than a foxglove. I have grown them every year that I have run my small flower business and I am always thrilled by them, as are the bees. Spotting foxgloves out in the wild holds an equal pleasure to growing my own.  They are wonderful biennials. I sow mine in trays in June/July, planting outside in early autumn in their final position in the garden. During the winter months they look a little ragged but the foliage will always perk up in spring. They start to flower their little hearts out the following year at the end of May until about mid July.  If you can resist not picking them all (always a difficulty with these beauties) they will self sow which is always a bonus in any cutting garden.

So to celebrate the beautiful apricot foxglove, here are a few photos of this year's harvest to share.

The flower heads just starting to surge skyward during the first week of May this year.

Showing colour.

Moving in closer to those beautiful bell shaped flowers.

Definitely worthy of the display cabinet.

And for filling a wooden crate.

And for large gatherings preparing for a wedding.

Choosing ribbon for a 'foxglove bride'.

I love anything to do with the anatomy of flowers: the language, beautiful words like, scrophulariaeace, didynamous, nectary and the anatomical drawings that I could look at for hours, like looking into a hidden world of details.

In certain lights you can see right through the foxglove like an xray.

Some individual plants decide to do their own thing and stray from the norm but are equally enchanting. This plant had stems like a wide strap of leather, the flowers slightly distorted and a truer pink than apricot.

Time to sit and stare.

A decision to move in.

So from seeds like specks of dust, to the overwintering green rosette of leaves, to flower spikes of lush saucy apricot that reach two metres high, to individual dry flowers, apricot foxgloves are a must every year and you're not too late to sow!

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