i am very excited about this, I have never had a flower before and was actually going to get rid of it over the Autumn As I thought it was deceased. What do I do with the black leaves at the bottom ?
i just pull them off, if they don't come away easy just leave them start from the bottom and work your way up
I use a pair of secateurs and thick gloves and cut close to the stem. Wear eye protection, the spikes will take an eye out.
When it has finished flowering, cut the flower stem down , leaving the leaves. Maybe not next year but the year after it may flower again. Mine flowered year before last in October, last year nothing, this year it has two spikes.
Have a look at this week's Gardener's World (about 11 mins in) for pruning a Flax - which is requires similar treatment.
Phormium and Yucca leaves are very fibrous. I bin them or burn them, they don't rot easily in the compost heap, and they block the shredder.
Second time its flowered in 20 years. For too long it was in the shade, then in a bucket, then I found a nice sunny spot on a slope for it.
I was so excited the first time it sent up a flowering spike. Then that opened up while we we on holiday in October. Thankfully there had been no frost, and it was still blooming when we got back. This year it is flowering a bit earlier.