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 Cape Rush

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The dramatic brown seeds of Chondropetalum elephantinum last for months, ensuring that this South African rush remains a show long into the Winter.

 

The contrasting green stems are at their best when young and "seedful."

 

chondropetalum-elephantinum-seed-bearing-canes-010213-closer

 

My colony spends the cold season in the greenhouse, and the quieter days are just the time to clip out the stems whose show has long passed.

 

chondropetalum-elephantinum-old-canes-010213-640

 

They've long since shed their showy seeds, and have changed color from green to a mildewy silver-gray.

 

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New stems will emerge in the Spring, and they don't recover if their tips are damaged. So remove old stems anytime in the depths of Winter, long before the new ones emerge. A few minutes with needle-nosed bonsai shears—or, in a pinch, a pair of nail scissors—is all it takes. 

 

Here's how to grow Chondropetalum, as well as tip-to-toe pictures of the colony in its Summer glory. 

 
 
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