Posts Tagged ‘phlox paniculata sherbet cocktail’


I enjoy the spring garden. Everything is shiny and green after the dull months of winter, but beyond that, everything is neat and tidy and in its place, all the little plants just getting started. By mid-August, all that’s past. Now the baby plants are like so many gloriously exuberant teenagers, wild and rambling and definitely no longer under their gardener-mother’s thumb. In the tumble of plants, phlox makes a brilliant statement.


Several of my most vibrant phlox plants predate my arrival as head gardener, and have been keeping company with the ‘Dart’s Dash’ rugosa roses for years. I especially like this standout pink.


This bright purple is very eye-catching as well. It looks good with the yellow spikes of verbascum nigrum.


Its neighbour is the much more sedately coloured Sherbet Cocktail (Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’).


Pictured above is Norah Leigh (Phlox paniculata ‘Norah Leigh’), which is actually better known for its variegated leaves than its pink and white flowers.


And this is Bright Eyes (Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’), blooming with the daylily ‘Dallas Star’, just ending its season, and Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium ‘Phantom’), just coming into bloom.

Finally, here is an unknown mauve phlox, blooming with purple liatris (Liatris spicata) and Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’).

Phlox is prone to powdery mildew, which disfigures the leaves with ugly white blotches. I never worry about such trivia. The surrounding plants mostly hide the blotchy leaves, and the plants mostly survive from year to year. It all works out.


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Daylilies work well for me because I start to lose interest in the garden later in the season. I love that glorious burst of growth in the spring, the dazzling flowers of summer. By the end of August, I’m ready to move on to other activities.


I’m content to stroll about the garden and not lift a finger on its behalf. I never trim back my plants until spring. Many of them provide winter interest, with interesting seed pods or twisty stems.


I can further justify my autumnal laziness with the fact that the seeds and leaf litter the garden offers will feed and protect a host of insects and birds over the freezing months ahead.


There are still a few flowers to be seen, such as a late-blooming head of masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated‘), above.


And here is a bouquet of Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) tucked in amongst the lowest branches of the corkscrew hazel.


The chocolate Joe Pye (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) is just wrapping up its blooming season for the year.


A few heads of phlox are contributing a bit of colour. This is Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’.


The last, the very last flower to bloom in my garden every year is this monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Barker’s Variety’). The flowers are set off nicely by the new green coat that the house received this summer.


The bright berries of the aptly named American Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ) brighten a shady corner and make a contribution to the garden’s offerings for wildlife.


The grasses are the mainstay of the fall garden. This little cutie is Piglet Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet’).


The plumes of this unnamed miscanthus species look fabulous when backlit by the sun. This is one of the tallest grasses in the garden, but two others surpass it. Both are new this year, and are only just opening their plumed heads now. Hopefully, next year they will fill out more and reach maturity a bit earlier in the season. You can make out Giant Maidengrass (Miscanthus gigantus) in the photo below, standing to the left of the sunlit plumes. Behind it is the tallest of the three, the native Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).


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