Truly on the list of "A Few of My Favorites". Phlox is a lovely, sweet old fashioned favorite that is simply a "must have" in the cottage garden. It's delicate blooms sit atop wiry stems forming an informal clump that stands about 18-24" tall (at least it is that way in my garden). I have it tucked here and there in the front edges of my perennial beds. I used to have it out in my cutting garden but decided that it would be happier in a cooler location.
Once one of the most important plants in the perennial garden it lost favor after the 1940's through to the 1980's. It's popularity suffered when perennial gardening became regarded as old-fashioned and quaint. Considering what was going on in the 80's that hardly surprises me! It has made a comeback, thank goodness and has approximately 800 cultivars. My research tells me that Phlox thrives in a cool and sunny climate with well watered rich soil. (no shortage of water around here!) Powdery mildew can affect some plants depending upon their environment. While this is not fatal nor contagious it can be unsightly. Your best option is to plant something low in front of it to hide the foliage. I have not had to contend with powdery mildew on my Phlox as of yet.
I love seeing the purplish colored phlox in my perennial beds. It is romantic and old fashioned looking. Who can ask for anything more?