'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Monday, 6 April 2009

New Zealand Flax (Phormium spp)

The sweet harakeke flowers of spring have turned into the glossy, dew-washed pods of autumn.  And today I will cut myself one of the strap-like leaves, strip off the central hard vein, scrape off the pith with a mussel shell, and use the soft silky fibres to make some strong pliable cording for which I have a very special use...  


  1. What are you going to do with the cording?

    It's good to see phormium being native somewhere. To me it has always seemed an intrusively inappropriate plant wherever it's placed. It's all a question of context!

  2. Fascinating and lovely pictures. I second the question, what are you going to do with the cording?

  3. We have some NZ flax in our garden. It sits on a small rise, and it is gorgeous as a specimen plant in spring and summer, but a real pain to cut down and neaten up after the autumn.

    Ours is just beginning to produce tiny spears of leaves right now!

  4. In time all cord questions will be answered - you know I always need a photo to 'talk to'.


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