Plant swap

Is anyone interested in swapping plants via mail?
I have Aristolochia grandiflora http://logees.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R1066-2
I am looking for Phormium's which seem to be my new favorite plant. I don't know why, but they don't sell them here in Central Texas. However, of all places, Lowe's does carry one variety, the dark, solid colored almost eggplant colored one. I bought it. Want more colors!
Thanks, Victoria
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Addictive aren't they :-)
I

Will they survive Texas summer heat and drought? They are native to New Zealand, which is more temperate, cooler and damper. The cookianums grow along wet ditches there and will tolerate bog, and pond sides, here . At my last garden, phormium could barely survive the cold winters (-10 C) .It's milder here, we get occasional frosts to -2C and they grow like mad. Although phormiums have such tough leaves, I suspect they have a surprisingly limited range of temperature tolerance. But well worth having if you can.
When I got the bug I bought any I saw. A few years later, I find that many of the brightly-coloured ones are not very colour-stable and as they age, gradually revert and become les stripey, less coloured, duller and plainer. I find all plain dark purple ones stable, and the biggest, tenax purpurea, comes easily from fresh seed ....about 50 % of its babies are really good purple. Some of the seedlings are just green, and the rest are in between, muddy. I'm currently growing a barrier hedge round the parking space, from selected dark seedlings. The flower spikes on the mother plant reach 10ft tall with big buds and smallish red flowers, they look like triffids
"Tricolour" is gorgeous, very hardy, and very colour-stable here. It's got wide droopy yellow and green striped leaves with a very narrow red edge to each. Probably my favourite.
"Pink stripe"..not stable at all:-( It has to come out, but be warned, phormiums are hard to get out when well established. The series with "Maori" in the name, are not very colour-stable IME.
Alison Blackman, (browns, creams, but of red and green) Cream delight (primrose and green) and Evening Glow ( sunset red, very striking but a hard shade to place in the garden)
all seem colour-stable so far.
If you like the purple one. there's a particularly good, black small version called Platt's Black, and Bronze Baby is nice too. Whenever I get a new coloured form one, I pull it apart straight away and grow on the "bits " separately to build stock. (They sell very well when we open the garden) Otherwise, it's quite hard to wrestle a division off one growing in the garden. Last summer, I went on a phormium-weaving day course taught by someone who had learned in NZ from a Maori. The coloured leaf forms are fabulous for that.
Too far and complicated for posting swaps, but it might give you some ideas for which to look out for.
Janet (Scotland)
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On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 16:17:49 GMT, Janet Baraclough

Thanks for that very informative information. I bought a gallon pot yesterday of a dark color. I can buy cuttings from a place I found online. I've had it before, but that year we had a major ice storm and the temps went below 25F for long enough that the soil started to freeze. It was killed.
I'm going to divide this one I bought. When I buy plants I always look to see how many I can get. I will be planting these near the pond, and they will get afternoon shade when it is sweltering for 4 months or longer.
I gardened this week and for the first time in almost two years I felt alive again. I fell a few times from atrophy in my limbs and found it difficult to move around. I lose my balance a lot and trip. My husband's worst nightmare. I am such a klutz.
I do have a greenhouse and can use some of these varieties in large containers and move them in there for winter months. Maybe taking the "pups" will come true to the color it originally was bred to be, but if not, it's still a beautiful strap leaf.
thanks, Victoria
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