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 Full Flowering of 'Arnold Promise' Witch Hazel



The last day in February, my 'Arnold Promise' witch hazel was just starting to think about flowers. This cultivar is notably later than many others.


Ten days later, its performance is at top volume. Thank goodness: March is no walk-in-the-park. Sure, Spring starts, technically, on the 20th. But that's often more of a taunt than a reality.


Cold and gray will probably dribble on into April, but Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' lights up the weeks before.




What a plethora of pizzazz was lurking in February's lumpy buds. Each flower has four petals—the yellow streamers—that, faithful to the concept, furl and unfurl as the weather turns cold and then warms back up. The tight quartet of wine-colored things are the sepals of the calyx. They seem to be doing the heavy lifting of cossetting the yellow-and-burgundy stamens and pistil. By contrast, the petals are the roadside flaggers, waving in the face of oncoming "traffic"—insect pollinators—so they'll make a pit stop.


How marvelous that, in such a dour and still-clammy season, these bright flowers are so active, so insistent. These are the weeks when it's good to know, from any corners, what (and who) has gotten through, woken up, and is determined to grab the new season by the throat and give it a kiss.


Here's how to grow 'Arnold Promise' witch hazel to perfection.


Here's a look at much earlier-blooming form of witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana 'Harvest Moon', which can be in full flower in November.


Here's a look at yet a third form of witch hazel, the unique weeping cultivar, Hamamelis vernalis 'Lombart's Weeping', which has been in flower since January.

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