Wednesday November 26, 2014

Hop on the yard and garden bus


Gardeners, remember that Yorkton In Bloom is coming up! The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be helping the City with this project, and we’d like to thank the City for coordinating this wonderful project every year! For more information about how to enter, call Community Development, Parks & Recreation at (306) 786-1750. The Yorkton In Bloom Yard and Garden Bus Tour takes place on Thursday, July 24. This will be your chance to get inspired as you see the winners in a variety of categories!

A dear gardening friend, who has a beautiful “horticultural jewel box” of a garden, recently gifted us with several glorious plants, including foxglove. Last year, his enchanting garden looked like an “English country garden” with the stately foxglove being a real eye-catcher. I know that you have seen pictures of the stunning foxglove. Foxglove is such a beautiful plant: elegant spires of bell-shaped flowers in delicate hues, making a wonderful accent plant in any garden! Mom and I grew it once; it survived one winter but did not make it to a second. What did we do wrong?

Time for some homework! Foxglove, also known as “digitalis”, is a biennial that long ago first called western Asia and north-west Africa home. The graceful plant looks like it should be the dainty flower of an English country garden, but in fact foxglove is a hardier plant that enjoys the wilder fringes of a garden or perennial border. Slightly rocky soil? No problem! Soil that’s a bit acidic? Bring it on!

Our foxglove plants will bloom or us in the middle of the summer, with flowers that range in color from frothy pink to deep raspberry to luscious purple and elegant white. Some of the flowers might even have freckles, which make them even prettier. The flower stalks rise above low-growing leaves, and make great cut flowers.  All they ask of us is soil with good drainage, and partial shade to full sun for their home.

Foxglove will seed itself, a great bonus to have more of this lovely flower. I read an interesting little factoid: if you are growing your foxglove plant for cut flowers, be sure to remove the tall centre stem: this will encourage your plant to branch out. But if you are hoping that the foxglove will self-sow, then leave the centre stem in.

One article I read said that this is an “easy care” plant: I hope they are right, because it is so lovely!

Now that I have done my homework, I see that perhaps Mom and I didn’t realize that the foxglove would self-sow, and possibly plucked out the new plants the following spring without realizing what they were. Oh, dear! I think we expected the original plant to keep coming back in the spring, like a regular perennial. There’s always something new to learn!

Looking for a mini gardening-getaway? You might like to find out about the Saskatchewan Horticultural Association bus trip, which happens July 18 and 19, 2014, and travels to the Weyburn, Estevan and Windthorst areas. Please note that you do not have to belong to the SHA to go on this trip. The last time I checked the website, the tour was still a go, so if you are interested please call Denise Mlazgar at 306-331-9181.

Another kind friend gave me a stack of Saskatchewan Gardener magazines; what a nice way to unwind at the end of the day! Aren’t gardeners such sweet people?  The magazines and the inspiration are much appreciated! Have a great week, gardeners, and be sure to wear a hat!



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