The phlox was purchased in the fall along with about a half dozen other perennials that were 40% off at the locally-owned nursery's end of year clearance. A tall plant was needed near the entrance to the side yard garden leading to the back yard and deck. A white color phlox and a 3-feet tall (90 cm) plant would be a great choice, providing a color that can be seen by guests as they walk along the side yard path to the deck at night, and enticing them with the fragrance. A supposedly tall red phlox 'Tenor' was planted about three years ago in the front garden, but it turned out to be a shocking fuchsia color, and shockingly short - growing only about 12-inches tall (30 cm) and hiding among the tall nicotiana foliage.
This spring, after researching my Carolina Phlox (Phlox maculate) 'Miss Lingard', I conclude that it is planted in just the right environment. It prefers soil that retains moisture but drains well, being at home in clay. It likes to be kept moist. It is attractive to butterflies and 'hummingbird moths' and offers possibilities of extended bloom times. The name comes from the Greek work for 'flame,' referring to many of its intense colors. A cautionary note pops up about mildew resistance.
Powdery mildew is a theme that runs through all literature on phlox, but some varieties are more resistant than others. So far my Miss Lingard is pest free. The three year old phuchsia phlox in the phront yard never gets mildew, although 'Tenor' was listed as a 'poorly resistat' variety in a North Carolina study.
Happy returns have made this purchase worthwhile. Several stalks shot up this spring and are now blooming, well ahead of summer bloom time. Miss Lingard held her own against a windy summer thunderstorm. And yes, the fragrance is there. Imagine the plant once it really starts to grow and fill in.
For The Record:
Clay soil with gypsum & organic amendments
Small amount of fertilizer
Blooming: salvia, hydrangea, kniphofia, phlox, coreopsis, nicotiana, astilbe