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: 'Victory' Parlor maple

 

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Few flowering plants are as tireless as the parlor maples. If they grow a new leaf, they also grow a new flower bud. And they produce new foliage whenever conditions are the least bit favorable.

 

Such as those in a cool greenhouse during the Winter, where watering is modest, and the only light is that from the weak Winter sun. Conveniently, sun that's no more intense than that of dappled shade is ideal for parlor maples, as is being watered only when needed.

 

This Abutilon megapotamicum 'Victory' isn't just enduring its Winter in the greenhouse. It's loving it—or most of it. Look closely in the picture below, and you can see some minute insects perching on the blossom. Greenhouses protect tender bugs from from killing conditions outside, not just tender plants.

 

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I keep a "kosher" greenhouse and garden, in that I don't use pesticides. Instead, I'll hang yellow sticky-cards, whose color entices flying insects to land, and whose sticky surface traps them tight.

 

When greenhoused plants are returned to the garden, insect pests will be controlled by hungry birds and insects. But that transition doesn't happen until mid-May. For these last two months in the greenhouse, sticky traps will be my front-line attack on bugs.

 

Here's how to grow another form of parlor maple, the shrubby and even tree-like 'Souvenir de Bonn'. Its cultural requirements are the same as those of 'Victory', but the latter's scrambling and cascading habit suggest different options for handling. Where hardy, 'Victory' could be trained as an espalier, or through a sturdier shrubby host, or left to groundcover where it must and cascade when it can. When grown as a container plant that will be overwintered, it's the best use of space to stake a stem or two upward, and train the shrub as a small weeping tree.

 
 
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