As you walk into the back garden this beauty of a phormium is on your right, or at least it used to be.
I looked back through my old blog posts and found photo evidence if it being in this spot as early as 2012. That's seven happy years, and at least two, maybe three cold and ice events that should have killed it.
But it was a trooper and soldiered on. Well, that is until...
The mealy bug invasion.
I sprayed a few times, when I first discovered them, but there were just too many mealys to kill off. Plus the conditions that allowed this to happen (a shaded base of the plant, which can stay a little on the wet side) weren't going to change. Plus, there was a little rot in there too. It was time to say goodbye.
Honestly though, the fact this plant had survived so much made it hard to let go of, plus it looked so good with the Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata' to it's side.
After a little prying with the shovel it came out in one complete chunk, and filled the yard waste container completely.
Now there's an empty spot...
But not for long...
The new plants are in place in this photo, but they're so small you can't see them.
It's much easier to see them from this angle...
One plant dug out (plus a few pieces of Saxifraga x urbium 'Aurea Punctata') and fourteen planted in, sounds about right.
I moved the metal aloe pedestal planter back a bit, without the huge mass of the Phormium it didn't make sense for it to be out at the corner of the planting space.
In went a few sempervivum from an earlier haul.
Selaginella kraussiana 'Aurea'
A pair of Coniogramme emeiensis 'Golden Zebra'
And a random Canna lily I picked up on clearance at the everything/grocery store. It was blooming in bright yellow and I sunk it in a container for a color-pop. Now that it's done I figured it's big leaves would add a nice contrast here.
Hopefully it will return and bloom to add a little color next year.
The Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa' was a gift from Roger Gossler earlier in the year, when he brought a group up to tour the garden. I'm glad I finally found a spot in the ground for it.
Those stacked leaves are pretty cool.
Roger also brought me the Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl' (on the left), those of you who read rhododendron and think massive shrub don't need to worry, this one shouldn't get too big for the space. If so, well, I'll deal with that eventually.
Finally, I planted three more Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata' to the left of the existing plants.
Come spring I need to seed in a little lawn where the phormium had shaded it out. Or maybe dig a few plugs from elsewhere and get it going that way.
I do miss the bright phormium stripes against the dark house, but it's fun to try new plants and see what they do...
Weather Diary, Sept 19: Hi 72, Low 55/ Precip .01"
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