The Fourth of July has come and gone, so the gardening season is about half over. For flowers, it’s not too early to start thinking of next year – and doing some direct seeding now.

Specifically, I am thinking of foxgloves – with the botanical name digitalis – which have been beautiful this year.

The foxgloves I am writing about are biennials and come in a range of colors including cream, pink, red and purple in tall spikes of flowers, growing up to 4 feet tall. Though native to Europe and Asia, they are excellent pollinator plants.

If you plant foxgloves now – they prefer rich soil and part to full shade – they will overwinter and produce just foliage next year. The blooms will come the year after that.

Foxgloves self-seed (drop their seeds after blooming), and your planting the seeds in the garden now will be like the seeds dropping from the foxglove flowers that have gone by. If you have a friend with foxgloves, you might be able to get him or her to give you a stalk of the spent blooms that you can put down in your own garden and get your seeds that way.

TOM ATWELL is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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