Really the best phlox for gardens...

Submitted by Kelaidis on Sat, 03/13/2010 - 09:29

Attached is a picture of Phlox nana in the garden of Joel and Pat Hayward, gardeners extraordinaire who live in Masonville, Colorado. This so called "Santa Fe" phlox (it actually grows pretty widely across New Mexico and a bit into neighboring states) grows with almost obscene vigor in their garden. They dig up pieces and pot them up for friends every year.

What makes Phlox nana so special is that it bloom continuously in gardens from spring until fall. And it has a more consistent, denser habit than the Mexican phloxes, which are closely related and have fallen out of cultivation by and large. There is quite a bit of variability in the flower hue and markings: this is a phlox to seek out (not easy to do as there is no commercial source!).

Pat is executive director of Plant Select, which has distributed umpteen million plants: I've teased her about how she's keeping back the best for herself (a lie, since she has given me many starts of this over the years: it doesn't grow quite so annoyingly for me, although I have it here and there all over my garden).