Wattle Woods Flaxes (Phormiums)

When I'm by the pond I can see the sweeping curve of the Wattle Woods, and enjoy the New Zealand flaxes (Phormiums) planted on the edge by the lawn. These brilliant foliage plants have always played an important part in the style of the Moosey garden. And it's heart-warming to be able to enjoy so much greenery in winter.

I'm lucky, too, that the coloured hybrids are easy to obtain and relatively cheap. Some, like the specimens in the Wattle Woods, grow alarmingly big and bulky. Buy they still look beautiful in a mixed planting scheme with roses and perennials.

 A path goes in there from the lawn, honestly!
The Edge of the Wattle Woods

This photograph below was taken in mid-winter in the year 2004, when this border was first being developed. These flaxes are called Yellow Wave. I remember cycling to the nursery down the road to buy them. How on earth did I get them back home?

 The gum trees and Wattles are in front of the boundary fence.
The Edge of the Wattle Woods Garden - 2004

The Wattle Woods are always quite dry, and many tough shrubs like Viburnum Tinus and Olearia are tucked and have survived years of annual summer neglect. The lumpy looking grass lawn is called the Pond Paddock. Yes, it gets mown (and watered in summer) but it could seriously do with some GTLC - Gardener's Tender Loving Care.


In the Wattle Woods the plants need to be survivors. There is patchy sun, but the trees take a lot of the goodness and moisture from the soil. The New Zealand Phormium called Cream Delight has survived a few snow storms and is still growing well. Cream Delight has a weeping form, and it is reasonably large - better leave enough space for it in the garden!

 With an Escallonia and roses.
Cream Delight Phormium in the Wattle Woods

Hybrid flaxes look great in mixed plantings - you'll be able to see some large shrub roses nearby in these pictures (a non-climbing Cecile Brunner and Complicata). On the edge of the Wattle Woods there is more sun, and so I can grow a mixture of foliage plants, flowering shrubs (like roses) and perennials (like the large white Nicotiana Sylvestris).

Species Green Phormiums

I've planted species green Phormiums throughout the interior of the Wattle Woods. They are slow growing, but in here conditions are very inhospitable. They are good fillers, and again provide beautiful greenery in winter. I do have a bad habit of growing them too close to the paths, though. oh well. In that case the path usually has to shift over a bit!

 By the edge of the little Wattle Woods pond.
Green Flaxes - Phormium Cookianum

My older photographs show how well Phormiums withstand the tests of time. Some winters they really suffer (for example, heavy snow flattens and breaks their leaves). In many years I have to seriously trim and tidy them up - but I always cut their leaves off at the base. Phormiums look dreadful when their leaves have been chopped in half. Just dreadful!

 This part of the Wattle Woods Garden is always full of surprises.
Phormiums in the wattle woods - 2004

Below is an early photograph, before this area was taken over by the flaxes. Some original roses still in here - somewhere - fighting for space!

 All sorts get planted in here.
Phormiums in the wattle woods - 2001

I grow other coloured hybrid flaxes in the garden - particularly those with red and pink tones. The Wattle Woods seems to have got all the green coloured ones!