The Teddington Gardener

Maori Surprise


Phormium with raindrop lenses..

Less snap-happy and more looking at the names of the plants might lend more authority to these entries, though this was a very quick, held-at-the-waist-and-click picture that revealed the optical qualities of the raindrops only after downloading to the computer.

I’m guessing that this particular phormium is some combination of Maori and Sunset, Surprise, or Queen. Dark sword like leaves with a muddy red cast and clearly a little subtle stripe-ery going on.

Exceedingly useful plants, the flax, for the warmer and more sheltered parts of your garden, adding a completely different texture to the usual domes and sundry rounded shapes many plants exhibit. Vertical accents, contrasting leaf shapes, strong colours – and some wind action too. Can be very effective planted in blocks, or punctuating a mixed border – excellent in containers too.

Careful reading of labels an essential prior to giving any new phormium a home – size varies greatly one variety to another, taking in knee- to thigh-skimming – to shoulder rubbing…

Greens, yellows, creams, limes, reds, purples, aubergines and blacks, stripes, tricolours and bandings are all represented.

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