Too many gardeners throw in the trowel in July, after the daylilies finish blooming. What more can there be they ask?. And why should we care when it is this hot?
There are so many fine late blooming plants-
Hardy begonias, the Japanese anemones, salvias, asters-
And this, the native Harpeth River phlox, found in the bottomlands near the river, and a pass-a-long plant if you know the right people.
Garden phlox, back in the day of Elizabeth Lawrence, and Helen Van Pelt Wilson, and Louise Beebe Wilder, was a border mainstay. But during my years as a younger gardener, the tall garden phloxes lost favor. Gardeners saw them as disease ridden water guzzlers too often not worth the space.
Their panicles of pastel lavenders and pinks, and cherry reds were easily imitated by substituting some of the smallest crape myrtles- a practice I still think wise.
But I make an exception for the Harpeth River phlox, which has no ugly ankles to hide, and which has made its peace with the Tennessee summers.