Mainstays of the flowering mixed borders are these long flowering, hard-working perennials. From low growing, ground hugging covers through to clumping masses of flower stems these reliable garden favourites are also very popular with pollinators.
One of the most enigmatic displays we often see in explosive floral arrangements is a very humble yet most productive family of perennials – the Phlox. Producing clouds of colour over the warmer months from early spring through to the brisk days of autumn their performance typically becomes stronger and stronger with each year that they settle into the ground establishing a lasting presence in the border. Many varieties will perform well in a large container for those who are challenged with space whilst in larger garden spaces setting out a drift of three to five of these plants in close proximity will deliver an enviable splash of colour for months on end once the clumps establish. As a dual purpose, phlox is also a great source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies so planting near fruit trees or a vegie patch is of great benefit to the overall health and productiveness of the more utilitarian sectors of your garden. There are ground hugging varieties which are ideal for filling smaller spaces or cascading from retaining walls, rockeries or for edging paths and paved areas. There are also those producing clumps with upright stems that can be cut and added to floral arrangements or most simply enjoyed in a border or container display.
Take some time to familiarise yourself with this unassuming family and be rewarded for your efforts. Very low maintenance and easy to grow in most well draining soils, and with a variety to suit most garden situations, they are a most garden worthy collection of plants!