Plants, much like children, need to be loved to thrive. Thus the passionate gardener will steadfastly care and worry for each and every green sprout in his yard, individually, without regard of what an uninvolved observer would classify as useless waste of space.
The gardener will move plants around to offer them better conditions, pick out diseased leaves, get upset about rabbits eating new shoots and nurse apparently dead sticks back to life. If you ask every gardener, though, they will sheepishly admit playing favorites. There are always a few plants in your garden that you would be really sad not to see again. One of mine is “David” – a white garden phlox whose scent is out of this world.
It stands alone, tall above a field of dark green mint, in a shaded area of the garden: the shadows frame its perfectly white blooms providing striking contrast. It doesn’t bloom a lot, because it is mostly in the shade, but when it does it has the most intoxicating perfume, something between linden tree flowers and lilies. The scent reaches you from a distance, drawing you to the remote side of the garden where it grows.
I unsuccessfully tried to propagate it, it won’t take to much better locations, in full sun. Garden phlox usually grows like a weed, no matter where you plant it (I moved some purple ones in complete shade and they are still blooming). Not this one: it needs attention and care, but it’s finally thriving.
So, if you are ever in a plant nursery and wonder “where is that wonderful fragrance coming from?”, don’t forget to check the perennials section for white garden phlox.