New Zealand flax
- Position: full sun/partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July
- Hardiness: frost hardy (may need winter protection)
With their arching, sword-shaped leaves, Phormiums make a dramatic statement in the garden. Originating from New Zealand, where their fibre has traditionally been used in the same way as hemp or sisal, they are versatile evergreen plants that tolerate a range of conditions and look at home in a variety of different planting schemes. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more colourful varieties being introduced. As its name suggests, this one has all the colours of the sunset - broad, bronze-green leaves with rose-pink or apricot margins that sing in the sunlight. In hot summers, spikes of tubular, yellow-green flowers will shoot up from the centre. This spectactular phormium is perfect for a sunny, exotic or Mediterranean-style garden, as part of a scheme based on 'hot' colours, or as a foil for ornamental grasses.
- Garden care: In late spring remove any dead or damaged leaves and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter to stimulate vigorous, new growth.
The trick to achieving the tropical effect is good preparation and dense planting, vivid foliage, fiery flowers and striking contrasts. The jungle garden is a place for theatrical planning and planting. If you don't have room or the inclination to turn yRead full article