How to use it. New Zealand flax functions like an ornamental grass on steroids — it’s a garden focal point to the extreme. It has a commanding presence in the garden and should be planted with that in mind. Surround flax with grasses, plant it in containers or even showcase it alongside pools and water features à la Thomas Church. Phormium's tolerance of sea-coast conditions and wind makes it an excellent windbreak solution, especially along the coast. Shown: Phormium 'Firebird'