Here’s the phlox ‘Norah Leigh’ shining like a beacon in the morning sun. It’s still going strong, and with many other plants starting to die back around it, it is quite an eye-catcher. It’s variegated leaves really catch the light and the flowers are very cheerful.
There really was a Norah Leigh. She lived from 1884 to 1970 and was a keen gardener from the Cotswold region of England. Her daughter married nurseryman Joe Elliott, son of Clarence Elliott of Six Hills Nursery. It was her son-in-law Joe who propagated this variegated phlox and named it after Norah.
Six Hills Nursery was founded in Hertfordshire, England, in 1907. Clarence Elliott was an alpine specialist, who travelled widely in search of new alpines. His nursery carried a full range of plants, however. One of the most widely known is a catmint, Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’, which I have in my garden. Here it is, blooming in July.