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 Key West: Thryallis Vine

My pair of potted thryallis shrubs guarantees that, each season from August into October, my hot-color garden in New England is graced by fireworky spikes of yellow and red flowers. This thryallis brings the same excitement to the street scene of Key West year-round—but it's a vine. 

Tristellateia australasiae 022818 two 320

Vining thryallis: Who knew? The flower spikes are identical to those of the bushy form. Would the vine be a more effective, easy to handle, or exciting vehicle for them back North? Only one way to find out.

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Today in Key West: African Tulip Tree

Hurricanes are normal for Key West, so stormworthy trees should be the rule. But there are just too many other tempting possibilities for this, the mildest climate in North America—especially those that wouldn't survive even in sometimes-chilly Miami. The platter-sized flower clusters of African tulip tree are staggeringly good, so the trees are planted here despite their brittle wood. 

Spathodea campanulata 022318 320

Above, what's left of my favorite: sprouts from the roots.

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'Berrima Gold' Incense Cedar

Conifers with gold foliage aren't unusual. Indeed, some are horrifyingly popular. Even so, Berrima Gold incense cedar deserves a place in any garden where it's hardy. Indeed, I think of it as a category killer: Start with Berrima Gold and, maybe, finish right there.

Calocedrus decurrens Berrima Gold Youngest Bark FIngers 020618 320

The bright gold young foliage is just the first reason. Its coppery tones in winter, the tree's copper bark all year, and—perhaps most unusual of all—the near-white mature foliage make Berrima Gold indelibly exciting.

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Pollarding the Chinese Tulip Trees

Three pollarded Chinese tulip trees front a block of ten-foot-high yew hedge. Chinese tulip trees? Leaves of this Asian tulip-tree cousin are gigantic—and burgundy when young. Pollarded? Cutting young stems back to their stubs stimulates regrowth that is particularly eager and colorful, while also keeping it at eye level.

Liriodendron chinense 021218 before pollarding 320

Colorful? May to September, you'll see. Eager? These straight-up stems are last year's growth, and some of them are over seven feet long.

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February Daphne Explores the Garden

So-called "February" daphne really is in bloom that month if you encounter it in Seattle or London. Here in New England, February is still too cold for the flowers themselves—but not for their green calyces.

Daphne mezereum f. Alba 020318 driveway 320

In the strange way of these shrubs, my original February daphne thrived for years before dying for no apparent reason. But I still have the species in my garden: These are stems of one of the self-seeded volunteers.

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