The common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, is a wild plant that you'll find growing in woods and hedgerows at this time of year, there's a particularly good display at Sheringham Park right now. It also makes for an excellent garden plant, especially for shady positions. The Latin name, Digitalis, means 'finger-like' and refers to the tubular flowers of the Foxglove. In folklore, it was said that picking a foxglove would offend fairies. This was likely a tale told to children to protect them, as this plant is toxic to both humans and animals if eaten. Digitalis is also the name of the drug that comes from the toxins of this plant, the artist Vincent van Gogh was prescribed digitalis by his physician Dr Paul-Ferdinand Gachet. He painted two famous 1890 portraits of Gachet. In both, the doctor is holding a stem of foxglove.
Gardens in East Anglia
In the East of England, we’re lucky to have so many gardens that showcase the very best of this seasons blooms. See for yourself as the summer brings with it scented roses, vibrant borders and banks of wildflowers.
17 Jun 21
The folklore of foxgloves
15 Jun 21
Standing tall and proud, delphiniums are beginning to bloom amongst our borders at Anglesey Abbey. Flowering with the peonies and the first of the roses, they add a splash of colour as they soar skywards. The delphinium gets its name from the Greek word 'delphin', which means dolphin. This is because of its dolphin shaped flowers. Although they're pretty, they can be deadly, so take care! And don't forget to give them some support if you're growing them in your garden, to ensure they don't topple over in stormy weather.
09 Jun 21
The English rose
Not only are they beautiful to look at, roses are full of meaning and have been used throughout history as a symbol of both love and war. Roses are England's national flower. In the 1400s there was a war between the houses of Lancaster (represented by the red rose) and York (represented by a white rose) which is famously known as the War of the Roses. After his victory, Henry VII merged the two roses to create the Tudor rose - the rose of England. The revival of interest in saving and celebrating the astounding variety of roses got underway in the 1930s, when plantsman and rosarian, Graham Stuart Thomas, was one of the main driving forces behind their resurgence. Today, there are beautiful rose gardens at Anglesey Abbey and Peckover House, which create not only a colourful display, but a fragrant one come early summer.