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: Fuzzy Cow Parsnip

"Spring" is a taunting name for a season when so many plants are anything but eager to greet days that are often only grudgingly warm. "Cautious," "Creep," or "Crawl" would be more accurate. Bulbs and some early-season woodies really do "spring" into action at the merest hint of winter's end. Most perennials, though, bide their time.

Heracleum lanatum 041318 hand overall 320

But, then, there are the cow parnips. Their foliage is gigantic by June, so must get the earliest possible start, overnight freezes of early spring be damned. The rewards for being quick-out-of-the-gate more than offset the dangers.

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Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: China Fir Rededicated

For years, I have been treating my China fir as a low-lying second banana to an espaliered gold Deodar cedar. But last week, I encountered this China fir far north of my garden: in Providence, Rhode Isand. It is thriving so bodaciously it's blocking windows of a "painted lady" Victorian house. 

Cunninghamia lanceolata Glauca 040718 overall 320

China fir is only borderline hardy even in my garden thirty miles farther south. But this free-range specimen is lusty and even out of control, and yet it's significantly farther north. How could I not welcome mine into the upper reaches of the cozy espalier it shares with the Deodar cedar?

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Elegant New Foliage of Tellmann's Honeysuckle

Nearly seven year ago, I introduced Tellmann's honeysuckle via its June calling card: large sprays of mango-orange flowers. Yum! But in still-chilly April, the promise of such luscious beauty is cold comfort. No problem: Tellmann's sophisticated young foliage—plum and burgundy netted with green—is a worthy beckon out into the bracing weather.

Lonicera x tellmanniana 040418 320

Indeed, foliage of the honeysuckles that flower in warm weather tends toward an early as well as colorful debut. It's worth it to check them out.

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Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Woronow's Snowdrop

Snowdrops are at once surprising and routine: They appear suddenly, and so early in the new year that any sign of new life is a surprise. And yet, once you have snowdrops happily in your garden, there's no surprise that they will in fact return. 

Galanthus worronowii from the side 032918 320

This snowdrop added third, fourth, and fifth surprises: I planted it twice—and plentifully—over several years, but never saw anything the following springs. Fine, and on to other things. But this spring was its siren song to emerge after years of below-ground contemplation. Plus, there's the all-green foliage that, for a snowdrop, really is a surprise. Snowdrops: so tiny, so interesting.

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Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Coat-racking the Korean Pines

Plant anything fifteen years ago, and it should be a lot bigger by now. Compact and upright though they are, these two Silveray korean pines flanking the grassy alley are finally too broad as well as tall. What's needed is more than snapping off much of the soft new growth, the "candles," each May.   

Pinus koraiensis Silveray 032318 both before 320

Instead, it's time for "coat-racking"—cutting all the branches back as far as possible, leaving only crude, projecting stubs: the hang-your-hat-on hooks of the "rack." Take a deep breath, pick up the pruners and loppers, then begin.

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Today in Key West: 'White Ghost' Euphorbia Revisited

Two years ago, I introduced this White Ghost euphorbia, which was thriving in the delightful Martello Tower garden in Key West. In the tropics, plants grow so quickly that two years there is like a decade or two in New England. Mindful of the devastating hurricanes since, I was anxious that this singular succulent might have been crushed or, simply, swept away.

Euphorbia lactea White Ghost tips 030818 320

But no. Here it is, in the pink literally. But pink? Two years ago, all its young growth was tan. As Alice remarked in Wonderland, "Curiouser and curiouser."

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