Details of the plants in our Top 30
Suddenly, in the last hot, dusty, worn-out days of summer, the fresh flowers spring from the ground and we know that damper, cooler days are on the way.
Individual flower heads are a lovely bright lavender-blue with yellow centres and cover the plant for months from July to October.
Stories, legends and superstitions abound and snowdrops seem to be woven into our culture so it is not surprising that this tiny white flower, which blooms in winter, has made its way into our Top 30.
In the spring it is covered in a froth of white star-shaped flowers
Carl Thunberg, who travelled in Japan in the late 18th century, gave it the species name palmatum, describing the hand-shaped leaves.
Recently there has been an explosion in the number of variegated forms available and members are growing them with great success.
None of this can convey the ‘Look at me!’ bravado of a plant in full flower.
It looks wonderful in dappled shade when, in early summer, individual shafts of light pick up the rich red and gold.
It repays just that little bit of effort on our part with beautiful, elegant white spires.
What springs to mind when you hear the word phlox?
If you don’t already know, which I didn’t, the Blue Ensign is a flag used by . . .