Foxgloves | why Sarah loves them

In this video, Sarah shares why she loves foxgloves and her favourite varieties growing at Perch Hill

I really love this garden at the moment its, its my favourite place at Perch Hill. And that’s as much for the roses, it’s the rose trial garden, as for the foxgloves, I just adore that balance between those two families.


And in here, we’ve got Digitalis ‘Suttons apricot’ which is that beautiful, very soft pink, which is fabulous as a cut flower, cut with peonies and its fabulous as a garden plant.


And we’ve got the white one, Digitalis purpurea alba which is the sort of classic and actually there’s an odd wild one in there too which I’m not sure it looks so good, I love these soft colours.

But there’s a new one I love too which is just down here which is a compact one but it’s really branched it’s called panther and it is a got lovely splotches in its throat, but I love the way its sort of nestled in with this this deep rather matching kind of pink and then crimson rose and the bronze fennel.

And I think the reason I love foxgloves is perhaps threefold.

One is that they do make wonderful May June cut flowers, but I remember doing the bees and butterflies programme with the BBC and one of the pollinator scientists saying to me if you look at a foxglove, think of it like a high rise you know sort of layer upon layer upon layer of cafes for the pollinators. And if you watch them, they start the bottom of the spire the bees and they work their way up, getting nectar and pollen from each one of the trumpets and there’s no air miles to go with that and that’s what’s so lovely and so its this wonderful idea of the spike as as a great sort of tower of pollinator food sources, I love that idea. 

And the other thing I really love about foxgloves and actually these plants the toadflaxes the linaria is something that Vita Sackville-West wrote about so well I think, which is if you’ve got the domes of roses just like to get the right proportion and beauty with a mosque you need the minarettes at the corners and not necessarily at each corner around each rose do you want 4 foxgloves but its having that vertical spire breaking up through the domeiness of the rose that is just such a successful design combination and that’s what we’re trying to do here and in our rose garden. 

And I love using foxgloves in that way.