Adding colour and structure to the garden, who can’t love the Foxglove? We had about 30 of these come up this year, all grown from seed. I admit, I love a foxglove, but it was overkill! Although, at the back of the garden where the majority were they did look stunning all together. They were sown last year but didn’t do anything in their first year, just a few large leaves scattered around the garden. This year though, they all reached maturity and we had stems of vivid pinky all around us.
Forever covered in Bees, they gave early interest and bold colour before anything else had come to flower.
Beautiful and potentially deadly if consumed – used traditionally for therapy the recommended dose was apparently 1.5g of leaf taken as two doses per day. The fatal amount doesn’t appear to be stated anywhere but is apparently very close to the therapeutic amount and therefore it is no longer used for therapy as they were too close. So I don’t recommend sucking on or eating any part of this plant, even a smallish dose could cause cramps and vomiting. Why is something so handsome also so horrid?
Having said that, so many of our common garden plants contain toxins and we can’t not grow plants “just in case”, I just wouldn’t recommend putting any plant in your mouth if it’s not something that is classed as edible anyway. I don’t remember ever looking at a flower and wondering what it might taste like. A flower bed is not a pretty buffet for human consumption, it is a buffet for wildlife to come and enjoy whilst giving pleasure to the one who grows it. I could walk around my garden now and probably find another dozen or so plants that contain toxins, Calla Lily, Nicotiana, Clematis, Chrysanthemum, Delphinium, Euphorbia – the list goes on. I’m not going to stop growing them though.
So do plant it, do admire it and watch the bumble bees head for it, but don’t eat it yourself and leave it for nature to use! It’s a beautiful thing and if you put it towards the back of the bed away from curious little hands or snuffling noses you won’t have a problem. It deserves it’s place in the garden, for it’s good looks and for the bees.