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: Sea-Hog's Fennel and Spurge in Spring

 

The young foliage of many plants is burgundy. It can be as satisfying to know that the color is transitory (so you'd better appreciate it while it lasts) as it is to know that it is permanent (and, so, can ornament your garden all season long).

 

The feathery leaves of sea-hog's fennel are the first type, burgundy only when young.


 peucedanum-officinale-euphorbia-cyparissius-fens-ruby-050713-640

 

Their conversation with the flowers and foliage of 'Fen's Ruby' spurge is even livelier than you'd first think. The contrast of the sea hog's burgundy foliage and the spurge's acid-yellow flowers is just the beginning.

 

peucedanum-officinale-050713-640

 

Only the leaves of Peucedanum officinale are burgundy in Spring; the green of the stems, which might otherwise be ho-hum, is exciting in contrast to the feathery dark leaves they support.

 

peucedanum-officinale-euphorbia-cyparissius-fens-ruby-050713-close-up-640

 

The youngest of the needle-like foliage of Euphorbia cyparissias 'Fen's Ruby' is also burgundy. That coloring was even more intense—all burgundy, in fact—in early Spring, before the bright flowers had emerged. At that time, the sea hog's foliage would have just been erupting. It would have been burgundy, too, but its stems would have been so short, and its feathery texture so similar to that of the Euphorbia foliage, that the two would have been hard to distinguish.

 

There has to be a moment of peak display, when the sea-hog foliage was high enough to be clearly separate from that of the spurge, and the electric contrast of the yellow spurge flowers was effective, but the burgundy of the spurge foliage had yet to diminish too drastically. Next year, I'll know to keep watch day by day.

 

Here's how to grow sea-hog's fennel—as well as a look at the plants when in full flower.

 

Here's how to grow 'Fen's Ruby' spurge—as well as a look at this cultivar in early Spring, when all of its foliage is burgundy.

 
 
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