You could be forgiven for thinking that I had painted the thin cerise lines down each side of this phormium’s gloriously strappy leaves. Then you would remember that if I had attempted the job it wouldn’t be half as neat, so beautifully applied, so perfectly framing the stripes of green and cream. This plant was given to me by a lady in Bristol who had grown it from seed and I often wonder if the other seedling grew up to be so fine. Then it was barely out of nappies, now it has grown into a stunning specimen. For all this, I must admit that I rarely look at it for most of the year. This is in part due to chronic ostrich-itis; it is desperate for re-potting and rather than spend 15 minutes doing just that I would rather spend six months averting my eyes. But it is for the main because it is now, in the depths of winter, that it really comes into its own.