Thursday, March 15, 2007


Creeping Phlox
Phlox subulata
(floks) (sub-yoo-LAH-tuh)


Apparently I was jumping the gun by getting out in the garden around here this week. The weather forecast has deteriorated considerably. A couple inches of rain followed by 6 to 10 inches of snow. That is a little depressing when you add in the next week at just above freezing. Oh well, I just have to wait it out. This storm could blow up to something real big if the coastal low develops and moves along the right track. I haven’t watched the weather in a couple of hours and hope not to.

Today’s picture is actually from a two groups of pictures I have never even looked at. This was shot on May 5, 2005. I just found them on an old hard drive. Phlox subulata is a nice carpet of color pretty early in the season. My experience with it has been if it is happy with the conditions it is a great joy to cultivate. If it isn’t happy then I don’t try to force it to grow because it is generally uncooperative. It does best tucked into rocky outcrops in lean soil. Good drainage is a necessity. Some garden books say that it can grow in part-shade but I have always grown it in full sun. It generally doesn’t need a lot of work just a little trimming to keep it neat. Occasionally, when it starts to look a little ratty, it needs to be pruned back harder. It comes in a lot of color variations, now, from pastels to electric type colors. It is extremely hardy and it is best to remove any weeds growing in it right away as the removal becomes more difficult if the weeds or grass becomes established. The Phlox’s shallow root system can be easily overwhelmed. I have a little patch that I planted on top of a piece of ledge with only a few inches of soil and it has grown nicely along the cracks in the stone. I appreciate that as nothing else I planted in this area has grown.


Synonyms: Thrift, Moss pink, Moss Phlox

1 comment:

Siobhan said...

What a wonderful photo. So joyful and yet so humble a flower. Thank you for brightening up my cold January Sunday afternooon in London with the pleasure of this photo. I have just discovered your web-site and will visit again, if I may? Keep on posting your delicious art .

Siobhan. An Irish fan