Phlox subulata, also known as moss phlox, is one of my favorites. I use it at the edges of my flagstone walkway. I’ve planted moss phlox in both full sun and dappled shade, and it always produces a carpet of color. The spent blooms disappear cleanly after flowering, and no shearing is needed. The growth is weed-smotheringly dense, as it layers on top of itself, but it is also very well-behaved and won’t encroach on neighboring plants. In fact, the one thing I dislike about its growth habit is how it forms an almost perfect roundish mound, though maybe it forms a looser structure over time. For a more creeping-type phlox, try growing Phlox stolonifera.
The evergreen, needle-like foliage on ‘White Delight’ is a pleasing, brilliant green that looks great year-round. In the photo below, you can see why it’s called moss phlox.
Another moss phlox with even nicer foliage than ‘White Delight’ is ‘Emerald Cushion Blue,’ also sold as ‘Emerald Blue.’ What I like about this phlox is the deep, emerald green foliage, which makes a stunning backdrop for the lavender blue flowers.
Last year, ‘White Delight’ bloomed in my garden from May 3 to May 24. I purchased my plant from Sooner Plant Farm. My plant of ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ bloomed from April 27 to May 26.
Update (May 7, 2019): My plants of Blue phlox continue to grow and bloom very well this year, becoming ever wider mounds, but maintaining a dense, tidy habit. In the photo below, on the right, you can see I just added another Blue phlox this spring. For those of you who, like me, get most of your plants by mail, you should easily recognize the plant tag as that of Bluestone Perennials. I like their plant tags the best, as they are by far made of the most durable plastic, their text doesn’t fade, and they have a nice pointed edge that easily pierces the ground.
My plants of White phlox, however, have thinned out in sections and are no where near as floriferous this year. I wonder if I should have been more diligent in removing the leaves that fell and covered the plants over the winter. I’m also going to try to prune back the plants after blooming. Hopefully that will encourage new, denser growth and better flowering next year. However, I don’t really mind the uneven growth as I like the unkempt look.
Here is another moss phlox that I added, ‘Amazing Grace,’ from Bluestone Perennials. It shows the same uneven growth as my other White phlox.
Here’s an interesting photo of ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘White Delight’ next to each other. The juxtaposition of the blooms is a striking illustration of how many kinds of white there are.
I like the warm white of ‘White Delight’ whereas ‘Amazing Grace’ seems to be much colder. The plants actually don’t look good next to each other in the garden. My original plan was to make a white garden, as I thought it would make choosing plant combinations a lot easier. But how wrong I was!