New Zealand Flax and Oriental Poppies

phormium and poppies tended.wordpress.com

Saw this great combination today at a grocery store plaza of all places. New Zealand Flax (phormium) with Oriental Poppies (papaver). I love how the salmon poppies pick up the pink edges of the New Zealand Flax leaves. Both colors really pop against the flax and the orange poppies practically glow. New Zealand Flax is pretty indestructible and I love this idea of it in a container, surrounded by changing waves of annuals weaving up through its spiky form.

Annie’s Annuals¬†has about every color of poppy you could want. They are annuals, but they will very happily reseed for you.

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The easiest California garden ever

portola valley garden

This beautiful garden is actually at a riding barn in Portola Valley (the building is one of the stables). A gnarled old olive tree is surrounded by rudbeckia (black eyed susan), phormium (new zealand flax ‘bronze baby’), stipa gigantea (giant feather grass), erigeron (seaside daisy), and buddleia (butterfly bush). Everything here is perfectly suited for our heavy clay soil and Mediterranean climate of wet winters and long dry summers. This is practically a no-maintenance garden if you plant in the fall to catch the winter rains.