Outgrown their positions...

I've gone all fierce - I've suddenly had enough of the big drab Phormium Tenaxes which are dotted around the house gardens. These fearsome foliage plants have outgrown their positions. Large flaxes will in future only be allowed by the water race.

Sunday 27th February

Right. The special garden visitor I have been twittering on about has been, and gone. She is an inspiration! We have just spent a wet couple of hours wandering slowly around the Moosey garden.

Jester Flax :
Some of the only hybrids to behave and stay the right shape are the Jester flaxes.

I have, with lots of positive reinforcement from her, a major new plan, involving my large oversized Phormium Tenaxes. They all started life as 'wee cuties', with coloured stripes and little leaf lengths.

This was such a pretty look - a foliage feature, proudly New Zealand native, taking up such a small space. They knew their place - and knew that 'upright' meant upright!

Bulky and Drab

The reality is that many have done quite a bit of reverting - back to the original species with tall stiff uncompromising leaves and a pushy, bulky habit. They have lost all their vibrant colours, becoming very drab and very stout (exactly what can happen to old lady gardeners). The days of tactically ignoring these monster Phormiums are over. My special garden visitor and I reckon that it's time for action. This is extremely serious stuff, and could involve one or more of the following:

A sharp kitchen knife, secateurs, a delicately angled bow saw, or the chainsaw.

 These big flaxes over the water race are perfectly acceptable!
Rural Volunteer Fireman

Flaxes Due for Demolition

The following flaxes are due for demolition:

This flax is no longer cute, small, or red. It is too big and very drab. And the fire truck can't get past it (so a responsible country gardener, whose partner is a rural volunteer fireman, has no alternative but to insist on its removal).

This flax was an early settler, coming from my friend's seaside garden, where it was growing too big for its position. Alas! It has done the same thing here. The leaves overhang the lawn, and flax leaves are bad news if caught up in the lawn-mower. The same partner who is a rural volunteer fireman mows the lawns.

This flax is no longer small, no longer subtle, and no longer striped. Like the two flaxes above it has reverted to stiff tall olive drab, and is completely crowding out the Nancy Steen roses and the climbing rose Compassion. I am a romantic gardener at heart, and so the roses win.

You guessed it - no longer wee, no longer red-toned, no longer striped! I've already had to move the small path away from it twice. It's completely blocking the Cotinus (such a beautiful plant) and the Miscanthus Zebrinus (ha! proper stripes).

Less of a bargain and more of a nightmare for the mower of the Moosey lawns, this is now a ridiculously oversized, non-striped flax. Because of this flax my David Austin roses in the Dog-Path Garden have suffered from poor air circulation, resulting in every fungal rose disease known to non-spraying rose gardeners.

 Mary rose is one of my David Austin roses.
Mary Rose in Late Summer

If only I'd noticed (when these flaxes were first growing) the odd leaf which had the species colouring - and got the secateurs in then and there! Wise after the event. All my newer flaxes will be seriously checked this week - before February finishes - and offending leaves cut out. And right now I am off to do battle with offending flax number three. I will not write another word until I am semi-victorious.

Ha! Three quarters of an hour later and number three is gone! The kitchen knife (oops) and the secateurs did a brilliant job. I have even cleared up the mess (the roots are still there, but the flax is cut off at ground level). So I could remove one a day, after tea and before bedtime...

Monday 28th February - Bex's Birthday

Happy Birthday to my web-site manager, who is always complaining that my pictures are out of focus. She implies that I am getting wobbly in my older gardening age - I've tried to tell her about the New Zealand wind, but I don't think she believes me!

 This is my new Wisteria showing off its lovely clean green leaves.
Wisteria Growing on the House Pergola

And by the way - I hear you've been given some New Zealand flaxes for your rooftop London garden. Simultaneously, half way around the world in a much warmer (though windy) place, I'm busy rampaging through the Moosey garden with flax-demolishing equipment. Such symmetry - hee hee!