Biennials, slow but sure in my Book.

A biennial plant is one that takes two years to complete its biological cycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots only, then it enters a period of dormancy (over the colder months).
Purple Bells

The stems remain compact and the leaves are low to the ground, often forming a rosette. Many biennials require a cold treatment, or vernalization before they will start to flower.
During the next spring or summer, the stem of the biennial plant grows very quickly, or "bolts". The plant then flowers, producing fruits and seeds before it finally dies.

Double Hollyhock

Because of the longer wait til bloom time of these slow but sure bloomers, 
many commercial growers propagate them and vernalize them, and sell them  "ready to bloom" or even labeled as "annuals".

Clary Sage

Examples of Biennials:

Sweet William    Foxglove    Hollyhock
Canterbury Bells    Money Plant    Forget-me-not
Parsley    Caraway    Clary Sage

Foxglove is not recommended for areas with small children as all parts are toxic if eaten.

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