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Plant of the week: Phlox Paniculata 'David'

WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT IT

When the hot colours of summer need cooling down, here's a hit of the purest of all the whites. The touchingly delicate, though tough, rounded heads are the most spectacular bloom of midsummer. Even a heat wave doesn't discourage it. This very old cultivar of an old-fashioned plant doesn't develop mildew or mould, has a delicate scent and look no further for superb cut flowers.

WHERE TO PLANT IT

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Plant in sun or in part shade and be confident that this perennial will become a nice big clump in a year or so. Make sure it has well-drained soil and lots of air circulation. It's a plant that will bloom for weeks in midsummer so make sure it has a good viewing spot. I've never staked it, but it will grow to 100cm (75 cm wide).

How often should you water? Can you bring a plant back to life?

WHAT IT OFFERS

A reliable pouffe of icy white over well-formed dark green leaves. It can be placed near shrubs, combined with Baptisia (long since out of bloom but great foliage) and salvias (still in bloom) for a dramatic effect. Make it central to a border, or as a specimen in a raised bed. If you deadhead it (cut off mucky looking flowers), it will re-bloom.

SOURCE AND COST

'David' is available at specialty nurseries nationwide, including Hole's Greenhouse & Gardens in Mt. Albert, Alta., where it costs $17.Visit www.marjorieharris.com for more gardening and plant information.

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