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There are any varied explanations for the common name of Digitalis -and indeed, about why a fox might need a glove (save to pad about secretly at night) – but the whatever the reasons for its naming, the foxglove was in Victorian times, as it remains now, one of the favourites of the garden.

In the garden Hibberd advised that the foxglove should never be planted in dry, breezy or starving situation. A fernery, or a snug, wild corner hidden away, were its perfect positions. The rockery at Kew had a splendid display in its rockery that during the late nineteenth century was apparently quite remarkable.

To raise a stock of plants, the seeds should be planted in April or May in pan or boxes, the young plants then having a little nursing in frames, being planted out in the garden one they were large enough. Seeds should be planted every year for, while a foxglove might flower for two or even three seasons, a considerable portion of them never flowered once past their first season.

Information and image taken from F. Edward Hulme and Shirley Hibberd, Familiar Garden Flowers (Cassell, Peter, Galpin and Co.: London: c. 1890), 5 vols.

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