Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tall Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata, or more simply put, Tall Garden Phlox.  
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?



Thursday, June 7, 2012

COTTAGE GARDEN CHALLENGES!

This particular bed is in front of our deck facing north into my back perennial beds.  I wanted something that would fill the space so that the base of the deck would be hidden.  Hidden it is!  I knew when I planted the Bishops Weed that it was very aggressive, I felt I could manage that pretty easily as the bed is bordered by flagstone walkways so it would be confined in that respect.  What I didn't count on however, was the prolific growth from my Ladys Mantle and Loosestrife.  The war is truly on!  The Loosestrife is growing in leaps and bounds, the Ladys Mantle has reseeded excessively even though I clipped all foliage before it went to seed last fall and dug up all early volunteers this spring.  Oh, my.  I have managed to get things under control for now.  In this same bed I have 2 of the species hydrangea Hills of Snow as well as a La Traviata rose and a couple of peonies (that will have to be moved elsewhere this fall) and a few boxwoods dotted along.  The Phlox that is planted closest to the flagstone edge will have to protected carefully.  I love the look of this bed, it has a charming untended look to it.  It will be our little secret that  the carefree cottage style is low maintenance, when in fact it is exactly the opposite.