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: Virginia Witch Hazel in Bloom

hamamelis-virginiana-harvest-moon-for-flower-detail-102112-640

 

Fall isn't just the end of Summer.  It's also the beginning of the year's other big gardening season than Spring.   After months of hot weather, when "gardening" is mostly about weeding and watering and mowing the grass, Fall is a welcome return to pruning and planting.

 

Virginia witch hazel helps celebrate this season of new activity by bursting into flower.  Just like the more familiar Winter-flowering witch hazels, such as 'Arnold Promise', the flowers of Virginia witch hazel have four streamer-like petals that can furl in cold weather and, as here, unfurl when it's mild.

 

The challenge with most forms of Hamamelis virginiana is that the leaves hang around through the entire flowering season.  They develop a lovely butter yellow Fall color, but remain in place for many weeks even after turning brown. 

 

This cultivar is 'Harvest Moon' and it—supposedly—is different.  These leaves are just beginning their transition to Fall gold.  After achieving it, they're reported to drop cleanly away, leaving the long-lasting flowers on full display for weeks.

 

hamamelis-virginiana-harvest-moon-branch-102112-640

 

Stay tuned for an update on how my three bushes of 'Harvest Moon' handle their Fall leaves.  If they perform as they're supposed to, the pictures a week or two hence will be of beautifully bare branches studded with pale yellow flowers.

 

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.

 
 
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