Great Plants this Month Summer

Phlox paniculata ‘Norah Leigh’ AGM

Louise Sims

I see that I’ve never chosen a phlox as my special plant before now; but as so often happens when I’m wandering about our garden in the early evening, this one called out to be included!

Although not yet in full flower, the leaves, strongly margined with creamy white, make a fine statement. I’m not always a fan of variegated foliage but ‘Norah Leigh’ really cuts the mustard and I make an exception. The variegation also extends its season of interest, both before and after flowering.

Strong growing (to about 90 cm) and very hardy, it actually needs to have some shade; clearly I didn’t do my homework all those years ago when I planted it, and grew mine in full sun for years.

I had almost got to the point of showing it the exit but having realised my mistake, I moved it to where it now flourishes in the dappled shade of our quince tree and it’s happily growing alongside hostas, ferns and one of my favourite heucheras, H. sanguinea ‘Alba’.

Mustn’t forget the very fragrant, palest pinky mauve flowers with darker pink eyes, which are held in clusters from now right through August. This phlox is also known as ‘Darwin’s Choice’ –  was it really a favourite of the great man? I like to think so – for what was good enough for him certainly does it for me!

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

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