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.

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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 Responses to “putting on a good front”

  1. Loree / danger garden Says:

    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. Frances Says:

    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? :-)
    Frances

  3. ricki Says:

    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. Grace Says:

    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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