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: The Walking Rhizomes of Papyrus



By Fall, the clumps of papyrus that summered in the horse trough at the back of the terrace's stone sideboard had grown seven feet tall.   Papyrus have notoriously fragile canes, so the clumps would have been impossible to maneuver back into the greenhouse if left full size.  When cut back, they were still nearly unliftable:  Rhizomes had walked out of each pot and across the water and, often, rooted into neighboring pots.  The three clumps I had slid into the water in May had knit together into a colony the size of a bathtub.


Only with equal parts chopping and cussing was I able to free the clumps.  And only by a full-body embrace could each muddy sopping monster be hoiked up onto the stone table.  Even if I'd had the energy, these beasts were still too large to schlep into the greenhouse.  What to do?


The solution was the very thing that had caused the problem.  Only some of the "walking" rhizomes had managed to root into neighboring clumps.  The rest were reaching ever deeper into the trough's small stretches of open water and, still finding no promised land, were anchored only where they had arisen from the mother clumps.




I severed five "walkers" of gorgeous mahogany-colored roots to pot up in the greenhouse; the three mother clumps of Cyperus papyrus will go into the compost heap.




Instead of dragging a couple of hundred pounds of papyrus clumps into shelter, I could grab in one hand the walkers I'd harvested.  With roots that had penetrated only into deeper water, not soil, they weighed only a pound apiece.  Whew!


Here's how to grow this iconically architectural rush.


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