New Zealand phlax (Phormium tenax
) is commonly chosen as the vertical element in containers for its reddish-burgundy or variegated, swordlike foliage.
veitchii at 3m has broad, creamy-white stripped leaves and Phormium Yellow Wave has 1.2m soft-yellowstriped green foliage.
The hum hie typeface on one card read XENOPHILE (in reference to Andre Kreton's erotic ode to Oceania) and, below that, PHORMIUM TENAX
; next to t hung two leaves of New Zealand flax amid a tangle of electric cord.
Aim to mix low-lying plants with the odd raised bed of dwarf conifers say and break up the beds with the occasional soaring yet still plant such as Juniperus Sky Rocket or Phormium tenax
Expert tip: Phormium tenax
has dark green rigid upright sword like leaves 10ft green, rigid, upright, sword-like leaves, 10ft long or more.
Except for New Zealand linen, Phormium tenax
, tensile strength of chambira fiber is weaker than the values reported for other commercial fibers (Table 4), which would be at least partially due to the lack of lignin in the cell wall.
For a while we all pretended we lived in a jungle and went mad for the Tasmanian tree ferns, Cordyline australis, in shades of green or purple, Phormium tenax
and Japanese hardy bananas.
In particular the Phormium tenax
(New Zealand flax, pictured) stood out for me as I learned it originated from riverbanks and mountainsides.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the modern hybrids, with their brightly coloured leaves belong to the species phormium tenax
and, being a lowland species, are not guaranteed to be fully hardy in our climate.
'All black' has dark purple-black foliage and will mature to a height of about six feet.
If you don't want to replant or create a totally new border, buy some specimen plants to act as focal points in your existing garden, such as Phormium tenax
, with its sword-shaped leaves, or Fatsia japonica, which provides sculptural foliage in a shady spot, callicarpa or cotoneaster for colourful berries and Acer palmatum for a real burst of autumn colour.