From spring to summer, creeping or upright, let me introduce you to one of my favourite border plants. Please put your gardening gloved hands together for the phlox – a performer that few can rival on the horticultural stage.
By far the leading lady of the genus is Phlox paniculata – tall and sophisticated adding elegance to the back row of any presentation. At up to 4 feet in height, although much shorter than her, these could easily rival Kate Moss on the horticultural catwalk. There really is nothing like a mass of these long legged beauties stretching its way along a lawn, like a multi-coloured satin ribbon of pink, purple, red and white encasing a gift of the most exquisite scent.
Old fashioned, traditional and a must for any cottage garden enthusiasts, thank goodness that taste is now in favour of the borders of time gone by and we have left the often vulgar formalities of the 1970s behind. Try our Bakker Spalding mix with five different varieties or opt for the ‘freckle red’ mix to match my sun dappled shoulders!
Native to America yet, in my opinion, as vital to Britain as fish and chips on a Friday night, better even as the next day you’re left with more than just soggy newspaper and indigestion! Don’t just take my word for it, skip the channel and German nurseryman Karl Foerster has been known to say that “a garden without phlox is an error!” Well said that man!
With Father Christmas dropping in on us all before we know it, your mind might well be turning to the joys of a spring display (if it’s not, and you’re still ice-cream in hand, sun hat on head, quite happy to stay in August for as long as possible: apologies and maybe skip to the last paragraph!!). Well how about creeping phlox – the little one who meanders along the rockery, content in the early April sunshine – releasing the recognizable potent perfume and winking at you with its stunning dark purple eyes if you pick the gorgeous white, purple centred ‘Bavaria’ – definitely my favourite of the low growing group and a 2015 addition to my garden.
With around 65 different species to choose from, there really is something for everyone and for a plant that in the language of flowers stands for united souls, surely the perfect choice for herbaceous harmony!
Written By Camilla Bassett-Smith
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