No, not that kind of boring. This kind of boring.
You’re not seeing it? Ok, let’s step back in time. These are the buds of Phlox paniculata ‘Coral Flame’. They are lovely little buds, aren’t they?
They get little swirls like a Mr Whippy ice-cream.
I never noticed exactly how they go from this to fully open. Until I got my macro lens!
They open out like boring machines. You know, machines which bore. Tunnels, underground.
Yes, I know they also look a little like something else.
Oops. But not from this angle:
Look how they open out!
And then the petals fold backwards, like this:
After I made this discovery, I picked one of the flowers to see exactly how it opens. If you gently pull at one of the petals, the whole thing magically opens out. It reminded me of one of those paper things we used to make at school – you know how you fitted your fingers and thumbs under to open and close and could lift a flap to see a message? Only it has five, not four flaps, which is even more clever.
It also reminded me that Phlox flowers have long throats for moths and other insects with a nice long proboscis! Phlox has a honey scent, a little like Nicotiana, which is stronger in the evening to attract moths.
Phlox is the easiest hardy perennial to grow: once planted, it looks after itself. The only aftercare it might need is to be divided every three to five years. It self-seeds nicely, around its base, but does not take over.