PLANT OF THE WEEK
Phlox pulchra (Mountain phlox)
WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT IT
This eastern North American native produces delicate lilac-blue flowers and works fantastically well in both sun and part shade. It’s a great plant for disguising the mess left behind by bulbs and is a good bridging plant until the annuals get going. The flopping about of yellow foliage can make you impatient. This plant will help get past that.
WHERE TO PLANT IT
If you are worried about watering (and you should be this summer), this is a plant that, once it’s established, gets along very well with what nature offers – and that’s important to remember. Rather than having masses of it – it isn’t a good massing plant, as the scent can be overwhelming – I like it running around, under or close to shrubs in odd spots. Once you’ve planted it, make sure that it has lots of organic matter, such as compost, around it.
WHAT IT OFFERS
Plant this phlox, which grows from Zone 5, near a walkway so you can grab a sweet whiff of its scent as you walk by. At 25 centimetres high by 25 centimetres wide, it could be a wonderful early-spring container plant, then moved into the garden because you need to cut it back hard once the bloom is over. The blooms seem almost neon when you look at them against the greenery of the garden at this time of year.
SOURCE AND COST
Find it at better mainstream nurseries such as Toronto’s Fiesta Gardens ( www.fiestafarms.ca) for around $13.99.
Visit www.marjorieharris.com for more gardening and plant information.