Phlox, with its tall flowers of pink, white or violet-blue, and its gorgeous scent that attracts bees and butterflies, is truly a cottage garden plant of high summer. Phlox do best in rich soil and partial shade and are good in wet summers that may defeat other more fragile flowers. They don’t like to be dry and their leaves will droop when they need more water.
Although Phlox come in a narrow band of colours, there is variety within this – they can be pure in colour, or lilac-purple with white eyes (‘Prospero’), blue-tinged-white with pink eyes (‘Blue Ice’), pale pink with dark pink eyes (‘Bright Eyes’), and so on. The white (‘White Admiral’) is a pure brilliant white and particularly useful in shady areas and to offset any other coloured flowers such as blue delphiniums. Their height and large flower heads make them a striking addition to any border.
Phlox are low maintenance plants that just need cutting back after the first frosts, and can be divided every few years. They flower throughout summer and are good for cutting.