Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Visitors to the Garden

Are humble Foxgloves on the rise? This year so many have planted themselves in our pots and borders wearing shades of pink, and white.
As dusk falls white Foxgloves seem to glow

Foxglove digitalis purpurea is lovely but can be toxic to some people so care should be taken. It has a whole host of common names reflecting an association with fairies - Fairy Caps, Fairy Gloves, Fairy Thimbles, Fairybells, and Fairy Herb.
Foxglove Fairy - Cicely Mary Barker
Digitalin, a cardiac glycoside that is extracted from Foxgloves is used to help steady rapid heartbeats and arrhythmias 

This one has even made itself at home inside a pot of my lilies.  
Some visitors, however, we are not so pleased to see.
I know this baby squirrel is very cute but he is trying to take the birds' nuts and seeds
but hasn't yet figured out how to get them
foiled at the moment
 but he'll be back

June is a month of pretty colours in the garden enjoy it whilst it lasts

76 comments:

  1. Lovely! I adore foxgloves, they give such highpointing structure to a border. And "visitors" are such a surprise (columbines can do that too). Your squirrel looks like a red one (in England I saw only silver ones).

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    1. Dear Britta - if he were a red one I would welcome him with joy - he is about the size of a red, but that is because he is young and has not yet matured into his grey colouring.

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  2. Dear Rosemary, I love your foxgloves and think it is quite charming that they self seed themselves around wherever they like it best. Cute drawing of the foxglove fairy. I wonder who came up with the idea of garden fairies first.
    Wishing you a lovely rest of June!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Flower fairy paintings and illustrations seem to have been very much a Victorian thing - if you are still travelling Christina hope your days are enjoyed.

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  3. Rosemary this post has taken me back to my childhood, with a garden full of pretty spring flowers foxgloves with bees inside always fascinated me as a child and I loved to watch them. I will be bringing foxgloves into my new front garden...thank you for the reminder of this lovely plant. Mr Squirrel looks very healthy!

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    1. The squirrel is just a baby with a lovey white chest - foxgloves, although wild, I enjoy in the garden.

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  4. So beautiful! I love your pics and gaden. Happy Tuesday, Rosemary!

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    1. Thank you Satu - happy days to you

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  5. Lovely garden, that poor squirrel , he want the nuts so very badly...

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    1. As he gets older and watches his parents he will soon pick up on how to get hold of them

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  6. Oh, the June colours are so pretty, as is the baby squirrel. Will he eventually be able to access the bird seed? I have always loved foxgloves, since as a little girl I saw them in English story books. They remind me of Beatrix Potter and her little animals, as well as the fairies. I might manage the occasional daffodil in the tropics, but I doubt I will ever manage a foxglove :)

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    1. I am off to Beatrix Potter land soon Patricia so will most likely see Foxgloves growing in her garden too, and may be even some of her little animal friends if I look carefully.

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  7. Beautiful! I should replant Foxgloves in our garden. They do not self-seed here. Your garden is perfectly lovely!

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    1. Dear Linda - we have never planted a single wild Foxglove in the garden - I am not sure how they arrive in our garden may be via the birds or wind. However, they are one of my husbands favourite flowers.
      Did you see my previous post on Bastani ice cream in which I mentioned you?

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    2. Dear Rosemary, thank you so much for the mention!

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  8. Wonderful post about the foxgloves Rosemary, your photos are great and I love these natural flowers in all parts of shade in my garden. As we have not these common squirrels around in our country, I almost adore them they look so cute, but I realize very well they can be a nuisance.

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    1. I am rather mean denying them some nuts and seeds but they are costly enough just feeding the birds. This particular one, being a baby, was rather fluffy and quite pretty too.

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  9. Dear Rosemary, you will shake your head when I tell you that I recently purchased two foxglove plants for $10 each. They do not volunteer in my garden. Wish theyThat is a magnificent tail he/she is sporting.

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    1. Dear Gina - the only Foxglove I have ever purchased was a hybrid in a lovely shade of apricot, but I appear to have lost it.
      The baby squirrel does have a lovely tail and a sweet little face too. We have men in the garden at the moment cutting down the branches where the squirrel was sitting yesterday as they are deceased so I will have to find some other branches for my feeders when they have left.

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    2. My lovely peach colored foxglove also did not survive. They were supposed to be perennial not semi annual as is the case with the lavender shades.

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    3. Perhaps the hybrids are not so robust as the wild ones Gina.

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  10. Hello, Rosemary. Foxgloves look uniquely and distinctively beautiful and the patterns inside a flower is interesting. They’d give special flavor to your garden. With such a many lovely flowers, I can almost feel balmy breeze from your garden. Probably our May weather would be the same with your June. The squirrel is so cute.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - The distinctive patterning inside the Foxgloves is very attractive to the bees. Time is flying by so quickly, already we are nearly half way into the year.
      The squirrel is very young and cute - he looks as if he might be on one of his first adventures outside the nest.

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  11. Dear Rosemary,
    what beautiful foxgloves you have and how lucky you are that they planted themselves in your lovely garden! This is the first time that I grow foxgloves in my garden. The fact that they are biennial plants had discouraged me from planting them before. However, now where they bloom so beautifully, I will certainly grow them again next year. Unfortunately, I am not as lucky as you when it comes to seedlings. I tried to sow foxgloves, poppies and hollyhocks this and last year and only two hollyhocks survived, all the rest oft the seedlings was eaten up by snails. Thus, I had to buy established foxglove plants for my garden. Some of them are still blooming, others already started developing seeds and I hope that this time some seedlings will establish before being eaten up by the many snails in my garden.
    Enjoy your beautiful garden!
    Best wishes,
    Lisa

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    1. Dear Lisa - once the Foxgloves are established you may well find that they will spread easily - it is just confusing when they pop up in places that you are not expecting such as my lily pot which actually is positioned on a plinth, so it is a mystery to me how it got there. There are some cultivar Foxgloves that have been bred to flower every year, but in time you will get them coming every year as each year new ones establish themselves.

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    2. Dear Rosemary,
      thank you for the info! I really hope the foxgloves will spread in my garden. I had similar experiences as you with my blue morning glory, I once bought a plant and now it pops up in all kind of places. My garden is very small and since I have so many by now I even gave some plants to my mum this year.

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  12. Had no idea that digitalis was a self planter. You may momentarily slow the squirrel down, but he'll be back with a plan.

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    1. Mine are certainly self planted as not one of them was put into the garden by us. You are right it wont take the squirrel long to learn a technique for getting the nuts and seeds.

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  13. Mmm, foxglove are one of my favorite!!! WE haven't planted any at our new place yet, but I cant WAIT!!!

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    1. Hope you have lots of success Marica they are such a pleasure to have in the borders.

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  14. Fox gloves are amazing this year - have got them growing in the oddest places...

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    1. I think that must have enjoyed the delayed wet Spring.

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  15. The digitalis is such a beautiful flower to have in the garden. Unfortunately I don't have many this year, but with a bit of luck next year will be better.

    When I read your title I thought your garden had been open to the public (NHS garden scheme), but I see a beautiful red squirrel visited it. What a delight to have those beautiful animals walking around your garden.

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

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    1. Dear Madelief - I wish that it was a red squirrel, but the touches of brown/red are because it is a baby and has yet to mature into its grey coat. There is a colony of red squirrels in the Lake District so may be I will see some there.
      This year the digitalis have gone made in our garden, all colours, and in both the front and the back garden.

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  16. The foxgloves that took a picture of this week were huge. Maybe it is a good year for them. I love watching the bees collecting the pollen. Your squirrel does look cute, even if he is very naughty! Sarah x

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    1. He is cute now Sarah, and I felt quite sorry for him as he was very frustrated, but kept trying to get the nuts and seeds. When he becomes a grown up squirrel his legs will be long enough to cope but I shall then have to shoo him away.

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  17. The foxgloves seem to be really beautiful this year don't they. We have one crazy bent one in our garden, no idea why it is bent! Hope that your Mr Squirrel doesn't figure out how to eat the nuts!

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    1. He's just a junior squirrel at the moment Amy but it wont take him long to master the necessary skills.

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  18. Oh, he'll definitely be back!

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    1. Yes, I have no doubts about that.

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  19. How wonderful your foxgloves are Rosemary. We don't see them in many gardens here unfortunately.
    Sweet creature, we don't have them here....might be a good thing!

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    1. The squirrel is lovely whilst small Margaret, but he will become better at getting my nuts as he grows up.

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  20. Hello Rosemary, What is a garden without a few playful guests--especially ones like squirrels which are not very damaging. There are lots of squirrels as always in Ohio this year, but it seems to be an especially good year for the tiny chipmunks, which I am seeing everywhere.
    --Jim

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    1. Chipmunks are delightful little creatures - I recall several visiting us everyday when we stayed in my brother and SiL's lakeside cabin in Canada one year. Hope that you are enjoying your trip home in Ohio Jim.

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  21. Wow those foxgloves are great ...
    Squirrels are just so agile - and he will be back I'm sure ...

    Lovely photo's again

    All the best Jan

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    1. The squirrel has been back again today - he is getting better and more agile, but still cannot quite understand how to get the nuts and seeds out of the feeders. Thank you for your visit Jan.

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  22. Particularly lovely squirrel pictures, and honestly it is hard not to warm to something so agile and decorative. Yes, I know they are pests. And terribly ingenious. I have a photo somewhere of one disturbed in the act of removing a tulip bulb from a flower pot on my balcony. Foxgloves seem to be everywhere, I agree, but my theory is that there are fashions in garden flowers because many planting schemes seem to have foxgloves now and I am sure they seed very readily. Do you remember that a few years ago, agapanthus seemed to be a feature of every garden?

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    1. Now you have made me wonder just where my Agapanthus have disappeared too! but you are definitely right about trends in gardens Jenny.

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  23. So many of our life saving meds are developed from, plants. warfarin a blood thinner in the U.S. was developed at the University Of Wisconsin. The Ag dept. Noticed their cows were dying from eating a particular clover. Seems the clover was drastically thinning their blood. By the way I am putting my money on the squirrel.

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    1. We loose many of our plants at our peril Janey so many of them have properties that can help in medicine. Yew tree clippings are gathered here every autumn to make a treatment for cancer too.

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  24. Dearest Rosemary,
    You have absolutely stunning colors in the garden. We can't even compete with that most favorable garden climate!
    Squirrels can be a nuisance but they also are very cute. We have some young ones and its fun to watch them at breakfast time.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - yesterday we had an arborist here reducing the dead branches on the tree where the bird feeders were. I have just rehung them today, and the squirrels are getting up to all kinds of amusing antics trying to empty them, but at the moment, not successfully.

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  25. I love foxgloves. All the foxgloves here are self-sown, and are coming up around the house and in the hedges. I also love to see the bumblebees climbing right into them.
    We constantly have a squirrel problem and they do keep the other birds away from the feeders. I think we have a whole family visiting at the moment as three young have just arrived. Like yours, they're trying to work out how to get all the food.

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    1. I feel rather mean towards the squirrels, the baby ones are really cute and interesting to watch as they try to manoeuver themselves into a postion to get at the nuts. But I buy the nuts first and foremost for the little birds that visit our garden and which give us so much pleasure.

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  26. I love the closeup of the foxgloves and who can resist a little squirrel?

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    1. I have to admit that the little baby squirrel is very sweet - love his tail and big black eyes.

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  27. Know people who have foxglove and I've never grown any, plus it pretty flower.
    Stop in from Biebkriebels and if you fine the time stop in for a cup of coffee.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Dora - I'd love a cup of coffee - thank you

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  28. I love the foxgloves so much. And is so beautiful to create a cottage garden. The strange thing is that sometimes you don't see them for 2 years and suddenly they appear again.
    Lovely photograps Rosemary.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

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    1. Dear Marijke - the reason that the Foxgloves appear to vanish is because they are biennial - ours come every year, but not the same ones of course, but because they have seeded themselves during different years - it was nice to hear from you, and hope all is well with you.

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  29. Beautiful foxgloves, we don't have them here.

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    1. No can't say that I have ever seen them in Turkey - too hot I should imagine

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  30. Much to hot and humid for them here, they are a very striking flower.
    Merle...............

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    1. They have arrived in my garden from the wild but happy to see them - thank you for visiting

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  31. During the end of season sales, I purchased a apricot coloured Foxglove. It is looking healthy, so hope I shall see a lovely flower come Spring.
    Your photos of the squirrel are great. I was surprised to see how small they are when I visited England.
    Lovely pastel colours in your collage.
    Enjoy Spring/Summer.

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    1. I think that the cultivars are perhaps not quite so robust - just put it somewhere that you can keep an eye on it.

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  32. Omg ! Just loved ur blog

    http://inthebothv.blogspot.ae/?m=1

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment

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  33. Dear Rosemary,

    Loved seeing your beautiful foxgloves and they always remind me of a little fairies hat.
    The little visitor is very cute and we saw some in Hyde Park when we went for a walk there.
    Hope you are having a lovely weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. The squirrels are very mischievous Carolyn - hope you are enjoying your weekend too.

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  34. Love all the pretty blooms and colours in your garden Rosemary. I've sowed foxgloves last year and two appeared which is quite good considering our difficult soil. They both seem to be white which is great, love all the colours they come in. Planning on sowing more this year. The cutest squirrel visiting your garden!!! You caught him well on photo!
    Have a lovely new week,
    Marian

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    1. I was surprised how the squirrel didn't seem to be at all concerned about me being in the garden, perhaps because he was a baby.

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  35. Wauu, so wonderful flowers, and the squirrel is so cute.

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    1. That squirrel comes every day - but he is cute

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