Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Foxglove Frenzy

I just love foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). There is all kinds of folklore around foxglove and other common names are Fairy Gloves, Fairy Thimbles, Witches' Gloves and Dead Men's Bells. It
was originally Folksglove as the flowers resemble the fingers of a glove.Foxglove contains cardiac stimulants, the most familiar being Digitoxin. It is extremely poisonous and should not be used internally.

So just enjoy these wonderful plants. They come in all colors and Digitalis grandiflora, the big-flowered foxglove, is a brilliant yellow. The above picture is Digitalis mertonensis, or Strawberry Foxglove, which is a cross of Digital purpurea and Digitalis grandiflora that I am enjoying in my garden this year.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Angelica Angst

Aargh!! What is happening to the angelica? I think it is a gourmet groundhog that only eats angelica? This is what was a good size 2nd year angelica at the store that I was looking forward to flowering this year. In one day, all the leaves were gone, obviously munched away. This plant is surrounded by other herbs, none of which have been touched.

The mystery actually started last week, when the seedlings from last year's beautiful angelica (see the post on that from last summer) filled the garden. They were thinned out and I left a number of them in place to mature. One day, I went out and the leaves were chopped off the seedlings, about every other one. What was up with this?
It was a few days later that the 2nd year angelica at the store was someone's dinner. Did Angelica Alice or Al like the small ones so much they went looking for larger leaves? I have never seen an angelica bothered by any type of animal or insect. Anyone have any ideas or seen this before?
So here is the picture of last year's angelica in June. No hope of that in either garden this year. Maybe if I can protect some of the seedlings we can look forward to next year and Angelica Alice will have to find something new to eat!