Louis Raymond experiments in his own gardens like

a mad scientist, searching out plants that most people have

never seen before & figuring out how to make them perform.- The Boston Globe

…Louis Raymond ensures that trees can grow in Brooklyn…

or just about any other place where concrete consumes

the dirt and skyscrapers shield the sunshine.- USA Today

 
 

NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.

 
 
 
 

NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.

 
 
 
 

New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.

 
 
 
 

Plant Profiles

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Buttercup Bush

 

Subtlety isn't everything. The flowers of buttercup bush are innumerable, and offer no color other than, duh, butter yellow. It's a Fall-into-Winter bloomer where it can be grown in the ground—think its native Argentina, or California or Texas. But in a container that's overwintered, neglectfully, in a greenhouse, the flowering begins in June and continues much of the Summer.

 

 

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Cassia corymbosa is evergreen, so has presence whether or not it's in flower. Its mounding bushiness gives it potential for use as a conservatory specimen, where its appearance is important Winter as well as Summer. My overwintering is definitely not intended to create a seasonal display during the cold months; it's just to keep way too many plants alive when creatively crammed into a stingily-heated hoop house. In those circumstances, buttercup bush is astoundingly tolerant of short Winter days and lengthy intervals between watering. And the minute the light and the watering become more generous, it bursts into bloom.

 

 

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The flowers are classic for the Cassia genus: five-petaled and in solid school-bus yellow.

 

 

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There's definitely a place for a jolt of blatant yellow in my garden, especially when the plant that produces it is such an easy keeper. For a Cassia that provides a performance that is more nuanced, but no less vivid, try Cassia didymobotrya. Its vertical spikes of buds are ebony, and if you brush its foliage, you release strong fragrance that's either that of movie popcorn or peanut butter.

 

 

Here's how to grow a fragrant-foliage cousin of buttercup bush: popcorn bush, Cassia didymobotrya. Cassia corymbosa is a bit hardier, to Zone 8 instead of 9; its cultural needs are the same.

 

Here's a look at the ferny foliage and statuesque proportions of popcorn bush; the habit of buttercup bush is comparatively low and mounding.

 
 
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