Sunday, February 16, 2014

Foliage Follow-up: February Focus on Phormium

Okay, I couldn't stop myself with the title of this post - I like alliteration.  However, the Phormium in my garden do deserve attention.  I seem to accumulate more each year we live here.  They do well in my USDA zone 10b (Sunset zone 23/24).  Many are drought tolerant, which is helpful when rain is in short supply and the state of California has declared a drought emergency.  They're also relatively easy to care for and they come in a range of sizes and colors.  I fully expect that more Phormium will enter my garden this year when I plant the new border area (assuming we ever finish digging the lawn out).

So here are the stand-outs in my garden:

2 Phormium 'Amazing Red' went into the side yard border last year - it grows just 2 feet tall and wide

I have no record of the name of this Phormium I planted in the front border shortly after we moved in - my best guess is that it's P. tenax 'Atropurpureum Compactum,' which grows 5 feet tall and wide


Several smaller Phormium 'Chocolate Baby' are also planted in the front border - they grow 2-3 feet tall and wide

I added 3 Phormium 'Dark Delight' to the backyard border last year - they grow 3-4 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide

Phormium 'Tiny Tiger' is indeed small - it grows just 1 foot tall and wide

Phormium tenax 'Yellow Wave' sits in the dry garden - it grows 3-4 feet tall and wide



These lovely Phormium are my contribution this month to the meme sponsored by Pam of the fabulous Digging blog.  Please visit Digging to view her foliage choices and connect to other gardeners' selections.

18 comments:

  1. What good-looking they are!
    Like the color of P. tenax 'Atropurpureum Compactum,' very beautiful.
    regards
    Mariana

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  2. You have some amazing phormiums. I love that Dark Delight. It looks great with the pink flower behind. Is it an alstromeria?

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    1. Yes, that's Alstroemeria behind it. There's also a pink Pentas poking into the picture on the side.

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  3. Both you and Loree are giving us inspiration to introduce Phormiums in our garden again :)

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    1. They are wonderful plants - and they'd look great in your exotic garden!

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  4. I have a phormium just waiting for me to make a decision on where to plant it... Hopefully it will look as good as yours! I especially like 'Dark Delight'. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Renee! I hope your Phormium appreciates the warmth of zone 11.

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  5. You're killing me! Having just come of another PKW here in the PNW I've only got one "in the ground" Phormium left, and how I got so lucky to have it survive I do not know. I'm glad your adding to your collection, those that can grow them should grow them!

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    1. I'm sorry it's been such a tough winter up there, Loree. Of course, drought could take out some of mine this summer...

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  6. These are fabulous! Phormium is not hardy here, but I have grown them as an annual. They are so pretty, however, that I am thinking of overwintering them in my husband's sunny office, which has become our official winter greenhouse. I doubt he will notice a couple of new plants amidst the jungle.

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    1. Your husband sounds a lot more reasonable than mine...

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  7. Drool! That 'Dark Delight' would be in my garden in an instant if phormiums didn't melt away in our Texas heat or freeze in our winters. I'll gladly enjoy them via your blog, Kris. Post about them all you like!

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    1. I've found that even our summer heat can be hard on the P. cookianum varieties, Pam, so I can only imagine what your "Death Star" would do.

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  8. Yellow wave I am familiar with - it hated my garden! You've a wonderful collection Kris. Dark Delight it exactly that!

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    1. 'Dark Delight' is one of the few deep burgundy/purple foliaged plants I've found that really likes my garden.

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  9. I had a 'Yellow Wave' but like an idiot, I left it in its pot. So when the cold weather hit in December, it killed the darn thing. At least I think it's dead. We shall see. I am very jealous of your ability to grow Phormiums Kris. And your alliteration is quite clever!

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    1. Thanks, Grace. It's nice to find someone else who appreciates alliteration!

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