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: 'Harvest Moon' Witch Hazel & Fleshy-Flowered Spindletree

Hamamelis virginiana Harvest Moon Euonymus carnosus 110115 640


This combination is so good I'll even include it in client projects, where plants can be adventurous enough to impress the cognoscenti but, above all, must display clear talents and tenacity that, well, even clients will notice.


Two stars of November—a unique cultivar of native witch hazel and a still-rare-in-the-West species of spindletree from China—are going gangbusters on synergy. It's rare enough for any plant to peak in November, when almost everything else is just marking time before Winter. It's a real gift to have two such "Novembers" performing in full-throated harmony.


Hamamelis virginiana Harvest Moon Euonymus carnosus 110115 closer 640


The frilly, pale-yellow flowers of Hamamelis virginiana 'Harvest Moon' begin emerging in October, and keep their cool for much of November. Unique in Fall-flowering witch hazels, the foliage falls away cleanly, so the flowers are fully visible instead of being hidden by leaves.  


The smooth shiny leaves of Euonymus carnosus turn deep burgundy as the weather cools; with a few more mild frosts, even the interior leaves in the canopy will let go of green. While the leaves begin their transition to burgundy a bit before the the witch hazel flowers emerge—and the flowers can outlast the leaves if the weather turns sharply colder day after day—for several weeks, even a month, the two displays coincide. 


Euonymus carnosus Hamamelis virginiana Harvest Moon 110115 640


In texture, timing, and coloring, these two plants collaborate on a display that is more enduring, unusual, and just plain pleasing than any other in my garden in November. Although the bare branches of neither the witch hazel nor the spindle tree are exceptional during Winter, the warm-weather foliage of both is distinctive and remains in good condition all season. Plus, the spindle tree flowers (small and white) show up well against its foliage. All in all, for such a sustained show in November, it's easy to go along with performances the rest of the year that are quieter.  


Someday, somewhere, I'll have a client opportunity to use each plant in adjacent multiples. What about a long walkway flanked first by rows of 'Harvest Moon' and, then, on the outside, by rows of the spindle tree? Or a high blank wall backing a huge parking court, fronted first by a block of the euonymus, then by a block of the witch hazel?


For a month, the show would be staggering—and (if I underplanted everything with an evergreen) for the rest of the year it would never be less than dignified. 


Here's how 'Harvest Moon' was flowering two years ago, when the shrubs were younger and, apparently, not mature enough to stay on message about shedding foliage promptly.


Here's how to grow one of the most popular forms of witch hazel, 'Arnold Promise'. The habit and needs of 'Harvest Moon' are very similar, although all forms of Hamamelis virginiana are notably more tolerant of soil with high moisture.


Here's how to grow Euonymus carnosus, as well as a closer look at its sumptuous Fall foliage.


Here's a look at the extraordinarily long-lasting floral display of Euonymus carnosus itself, which is in bloom from June into August.

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