by germinatrix | May 22nd, 2009
I love love love Phormiums. I truly can not design a garden without them. They have everything I want – drama, color, great form … so what if they rarely bloom.
Hold it! Rarely?
I have a few different Phormiums in my front garden – one P. ‘Dusky Chief’, two P. ‘Yellow Wave’, one P. ‘Sea Jade’, and a smattering of P. ‘Tom Thumb’. This year, all of them save the ‘Tom Thumb’ are in bloom! Why? They have all been in my garden forever – at least 9 years – why are they blooming now?
It has been a spectacular year for spiky blooms here in LA, as regular readers of this blog well know. Things have been shooting up like never before in my garden, and all over the city I am seeing things flowering that have sat, stoic and unmoving, for years. All of this abundance seems to be a confluence of late winter rains followed by a nice, long spell of moderate temperatures. In short, we had a SPRING!
We haven’t had a real spring here in at least a decade. It has either been a torrential rainy season followed by awful heat, or stingy winters with only a smattering of rain here and there. With this strange new thing called ‘Spring’, everyone who gardens in these parts has been so giddy, it’s like we are all baby gardeners again! We, who usually must content ourselves with tough, sculptural drought tolerants suddenly have flowers to enjoy – and even those tough, bad-ass phormiums got taken by the spirit and bloomed!
The neighborhood hummingbirds are freaking out. They are so fat and happy right now, flying around from flower to flower, barely able to keep themselves airborne because they’re so well-fed. What makes a gardener happier than the sight of a flock of hummers flying patrol over their favorite, nectar – bearing plants? It makes us feel like we’re doing something very right, even if we play the smallest part in the scheme of things, when all is said and done. Still, we can’t help but swell up with pride when a long awaited blossom finally blooms.