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

Good Together: Giant Potato Creeper & Tall Verbena

The minute flowers of Verbena bonariensis are surprisingly engaging despite their size. The countless lavender petals emerge from hot-pink tubes, which arise from a dense and almost coral-like mass of burgundy and green buds. 




The tighty-packed clusters of blooms are at the tips of nearly leafless vertical stems that poke upward two to six feet: high enough to be adjacent to the lower flowers of the Solanum wendlandii. Any one of the potato creeper's flowers is as large as the entire cluster of verbena blooms—and that Solanum flower can be one of dozens in a cluster a foot across.


The difference in scale and habit of the mature plants themselves is also enormous: A happy Solanum wendlandii sprawls and climbs to twenty feet high and wide, and is a thickly-foliaged mass weighing hundreds of pounds—whereas even an enormous and, as it were, buxom Verbena bonariensis plant is an anorexic, near-leafless, but absolutely self-supporting sheaf of stems weighing only ounces. 


Regardless, the flowers of both species have nearly identical color schemes: Lavender with accents of pink and burgundy.




Unity of coloring brings this pairing of opposites into genial conversation: Because their palettes have so much in common, these plants' juxtaposition of scale, habit, and texture is enlivening instead of clashing. Each is more interesting because the other is nearby. 

Here's how to grow Solanum wendlandii. I'll profile Verbena bonariensis soon.

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