Garden Phlox - Phlox paniculata (Zones 4-8)
Garden phlox may be a classic choice for an English cottage garden, but it is actually native to the Eastern United States, as are the majority of phlox species. It’s a lovely, clump-forming perennial with an tall, upright habit (24-48”) and a vigorous blooming season that lasts from late spring throughout the summer season.
The 3/4 inch wide fragrant, tubular flowers are held in 6-8 inch panicles at the end of strong stems, and attract pollinators with bright shades of red, pink, purple as well as purest white. Cutting the plant back by a third after blooming will often encourage a second flush of blooms in the early autumn. Foliage is deep green or variegated and lanceolate (spear-shaped).
Garden phlox is considered a sun-loving, cool-garden perennial, but it can be grown in light shade – particularly at the hotter end of its zone tolerance. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and will dry out quickly during periods of drought.
Humidity and drought can also encourage 'powdery mildew' on the leaves, which while rarely fatal to the plant, will disfigure the leaves with white blotching. If you encourage good ventilation around your plants by spacing them well, this can make a big difference.