You may have heard many gardeners in the Pacific Northwest discussing the phormium killing winters of 2009 - 2010 and 2010 -2011. These winters packed quite a punch and what phormiums that weren't killed in the first PKW were killed in the second. For many years, there were five huge
specimens in raised beds outside of a nearby parking structure. The elevation of the beds further enhanced the great size of these monsters. I watched with sadness as these and the other phormiums around town bit the dust. Unfortunately, I've not a picture of the former grandeur of these plants. Some made a valliant effort to come back from the roots after the first winter only to be cut down again by the second. The last couple of winters have been relatively mild in comparison. Driving by recently, I thought that the plants had been replaced.
Upon getting out of my car to take a closer look, it seems that the original plants were left in place and have been resurrected from the dead! I'm naming this one Lazarus!
While these are only about a quarter of their previous size, they will soon regain their former stature if winters aren't too harsh. The lesson: One should not be too hasty to give up hope.
Resilient buggers aren't they? Do you suppose that the additional drainage was helpful to their survival? Can you think of a reason that these would return while so many others didn't?