Last winter certainly took its toll on Phormiums.  I have a large one in the front of the house, which by this spring was certainly looking the worse for wear.

I was getting ready to send it to the great garden in the sky, when a friend recommended a tool to tidy it up.  I have previously used secateurs to tidy New Zealnad flaxes, but they are not the ideal tool for this job.  They are meant for woody material and really don’t cope well with the sinewy leaves of a phormium. 

The tool she recommended was Jakoti shears, so I decided to invest in a pair.  Within a couple of days my new shears arrived in the post and I set to tidying the plant.  What a wonderful job they did too.  Secateurs had made me feel that I was fighting the plant, but these shears just sliced through the old dead and dying leaves like butter.  They are very sharp, so you have to be careful not to cut yourself. 

So, I now have a lovely tidy phormium and I will never again dread having to give one a serious haircut.