Phlox paniculata

The Limelight hydrangeas are in their glory this time of year, but it is the Phlox that deserve our attention. Phlox paniculata is a fragrant, showy, and native plant that every summer garden should have. My friend and owner Rick at Goodness Grows introduced me to their cultivar ‘ Common Purple’ 30 years ago. It is still thriving in my garden border. A spot that is well drained, somewhat but not all sunny, and close enough to the lower steps that its sweet fragrance catches my breath on my evening garden stroll.

Too many of our modern landscaped gardens and spaces have become too homogenized, and down right boring. A long or short stretch of Phlox paniculata mixed with the stronger Hydrangeas would certainly add interest and the too often overlooked element of fragrance. Phlox ‘Common Purple’ is a rugged but not invasive plant that does not ask for more than to be included in thoughtful planning behind a short hedge or a Liriope border.

Your garden is a living work of art. I encourage you to think creatively about every plant you place in your outdoor oasis to create beauty at every opportunity.