I like Phormiums, they remind me of my granddad (he used to have one in his back garden in the 70s).
I used to grow them up here, but the two really bad winters of 09/10 and 10/11 killed them off. I think that they could have come back from the roots, but the tops were mechanically flattened by the weight of snow
In the summer before my big variegated one died it sent up about 20 flower spikes, that was cool. The bees, wasps and other flying insects loved the flowers.