I’ve only recently bought into the idea of planting in groupings, mainly thanks to the inspiration of Piet Oudolf. I guess my main reservation about grouping has been the space issue, as I prefer to grow more variety of plants in my limited yard space even if that means each has less impact in the garden. I guess that also reveals me to be more of a plant collector than a true gardener, although that has been changing as I increasingly try to garden with wildlife in mind.
The above photo shows three plants of Phlox divaricata, aka Woodland phlox, grouped together. I like that White Flower Farm sells this plant in units of three. Although it is more expensive for the customer, it nudged me to try grouping, and I think the effect speaks for itself. In just a year, it already looks established and makes a greater impact in the mid-spring garden than each individual plant would make on its own.
The flowers sit at the top of 18-20″ stems, so this is a plant for the middle of the border. It provides a lovely airy texture, as if a piece of the sky has descended upon the garden. My photo doesn’t do it justice as we’ve been having a very wet April and it’s been hard to get a photo op of the flowers not looking weighed down by the rain.