Foxgloves remind me of my dad, who has been in spirit for nearly 25 years now. Vernon was the ultimate gardener, you could say. He was a farmer for much of his life, growing corn, soybeans, and one year, sunflowers to feed the world. This is what I thought as a kid in Arlington, Minnesota and I guess I was kind of right on.
Later in his life, when he no longer drove a tractor, turning over the miles of earth and baling hay on the hottest days possible, he gardened on a smaller scale. I have particular memories of steaming pots of vegetables in the fall, all the harvest of the garden’s end: beets, carrots, onions, cabbage, kale, corn, and Brussels sprouts. The beets turned everything a slight, red blush.
Foxgloves are typically favorites of men. I’m not sure why. I love them. Striking in height, form and color, they give you a wow in the partly shady garden. I have always found that they do well where you can recreate the edge of a forest. Mine live happily beneath a hedge of lilacs. They are a lovely woodland touch … most welcome in my south Minneapolis garden. That said, they enjoy a rich, loamy soil, part shade, and plenty of even moisture, with good draining. Giving them a backdrop of trees and shrubs will also protect them from getting smacked down in the wind.
Botanically speaking, they are Digitalis grandiflora. In Eric and Garden Drama speak, they are gardenous fabulosa!