putting on a good front

I have killed a number of Phormiums, even some kept in pots and moved about to avoid freezes. This one was in the ground for a few years before the winters of ’08 and ’09 swept in with unheard-of deep freezes.


It looks pretty good here, but if last year is any indication (and I think this year’s conditions were even worse) these leaves will shrivel and need cutting back as time goes by. It was half again as big before last spring’s haircut. I rejoiced that it came back at all, especially since it is in the care of a slipshod gardener, who failed to wrap or otherwise protect it. Do you think we are in for a long term shift in weather patterns, or was the recent double whammy an aberration?

4 thoughts on “putting on a good front

  1. Now that is the question I wish someone could definitively answer! Last year I replanted the flax and cordys that I lost. Figuring it was a fluke.

    I think if I were to do it again this year that would just label me a fool. Which of course means that next winter will be warm!

  2. Hi Ricki, it’s so hard to know what to expect anymore. We are done trying to push the zone with things, like those great phormiums. They are not hardy here period. I will plant them as annuals and not even try to overwinter them, they look so terrible, it’s not worth it. As for those little sweet primroses, oh how I love them. Some colors are definitely hardier than others. For us, it is the maroon ones. Why couldn’t it be the blues? 🙂

  3. Loree~Oh how I hate to give up on the phormiums, but you’re right. At some point, to persevere becomes pure folly.

    Frances~Here, the blues are hardy enough, but smaller, and more attractive to the slugs, for some reason.

  4. Hi Loree~~ An aberration. Has to be. I refuse to believe anything else. However if colder winters would mean cooler summers then, well, it would make it easier to tolerate. I was going to write, “it would be worth it” but that would be a lie. I’m just looking for the silver lining. Your phormium looks much better than mine. Even my potted-and-moved-to-a-protected-area-ones look pathetic. I’m starting to get annoyed with them too. A lesson in futility? A neurosis? Maybe my memory will serve me better this year during those tempting plant sales. Nah.

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