Contributor Spotlight: Doug Van Hooser

Doug Van Hooser on "Wild Phlox"



I have a house in Wisconsin on the edge of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. When we moved in the prior owner had grassed over a tiered garden in the front yard. I tore out the grass and started planting. The wild phlox across the street did too. I have a hard time pulling out any plant that blooms and the phlox quickly took advantage of this flaw. Seed finds every nook and cranny and the next thing I knew there was a mass of blue. I love the big show. The Morton Arboretum in Illinois has a field of naturalized daffodils that is a special sight. I planted a hundred scilla in the front lawn and after twenty-five years the thousands of tiny plants put on an early spring show that mesmerizes everyone who sees it. And the phlox? No matter my annual efforts, it keeps its grip. Survival is never in question.