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: Giant Wingstem in Bud



The extraordinary foliage of giant wingstem—mitten-shaped leaves so large they could fit the abominable snowman—make this gigantic perennial a showstopper all season long.  With the cold finality of frost only weeks away, the monster has finally hinted that there's also a delicate and colorful side to its personality:  The appearance of the buds that will, we hope, have time to mature to large heads of yellow flowers.


If the flowerheads can make their debut before frost, they'll be a triumphant finale.  But even if they don't, giant wingstem is such an architectural plant that it deserves a place in any garden that can accommodate it. 


Seen from the north, my clump of Verbesina microptera is the backdrop to a full-throated display of potted ornamentals, including the rare yellow cultivar of striped giant reed, a dwarf lotus, and a pale-yellow water canna.




From the east, some of that line-up is more fully revealed, with the tub of yellow reed to the right of the huge pot of the wingstem. 




Although native to Mexico, giant wingstem should be hardy here in southern New England.  Someday, clumps of it will punctuate what will be my garden's climactic display: the yellow border.  As befitting both this giant perennial and the enormous palette of yellow-friendly plants, that border will be two hundred feet long and twenty-five feet deep.  In such immense context, giant wingstem will look right at home.


Meanwhile, this individual is my mother clump, and is moved into the shelter of the greenhouse for the Winter.


Here's how to grow this dramatic, architectural perennial.

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