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: Variegated Meadowsweet

Filipendula ulmaria Variegata 072015 640 


My deep and heavy soil is a favorite of filipendulas: Even with no irrigation, ever, my Camschatica filipendula tops seven feet; if I would provide conditions just a bit moister, it might top ten. 


At any height, the variegated meadowsweets are worth the effort to provide the rich soil and plentiful moisture they require. The Siberian variegate can form colonies as large as any side-by-side washer and dryer. This European variegate is one of the smallest, forming clumps just two to three feet tall. The irregular creamy leaf center is highlighted by its surround of green; the fluffy heads of tiny flowers echo the center blotch while also enjoying the same helpful contrast with the leafy green.


Filipendula ulmaria Variegata 072015 cropped 640


But there are always hundreds of new plants to try. Even though Filipendula ulmaria 'Variegata' is choice, I needed it to play second fiddle to a plant that, truth to tell, is miles more so. The filipendula colony is young and not yet full-sized; its tallest stems are still shy of two feet. That's a handy yardstick to enhance the shock of the mammoth trifoliate leaves of Arisaema fargesii. Its colony is also young, and can be expected to increase in height and width—and individual leaf size.  


Filipendula ulmaria Variegata Arisaema fargesii 072015 640


Even if just one or two of the mature leaves were three feet across, they'd form a tight canopy over the filipendula. Arisaema fargesii offsets with enthusiasm, so I'll soon have the happy Spring chore of gently digging up offsets closest to the filipendula (for friends and plant sales) to keep this marvelous monster jack-in-the-pulpit at bay. 



Here's a look at the far more eccentrically variegated (and larger) Siberian meadowsweet, Filipendula palmata 'Variegata'. Its hardiness and handling are similar to those of F. ulmaria 'Variegata'.


I'll profile Arisaema fargesii next.

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