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: Pruning the Obelisk of Leyland Cypress



The yellow-foliaged Leyland cypress is growing quickly. No surprise, there. This conifer is legendary for its speed. The goal is for the cypress to mature as a tight architectural shape—an obelisk—and so to be able to converse knowledgeably with the monumental wellstone that I had mounted vertically at its base.


Oops: As its feathery growth is now arrayed, the obelisk-to-be isn't centered on the wellstone. Because the wellstone aligns with the "portal" of clipped Parrotia persica and Cedrus libani 'Pendula' in the foreground, too, misalignment just looks like a mistake. Time for pruning! My tallest stepladder is currently just eight feet, so the the obelisk-to-be of x Cupressocyparis leylandii 'Robinson's Gold' can't be taller than I can reach. Thirteen to fourteen feet. Here's hoping 2013 brings a twelve-foot stepladder, so the obelisk can be even taller: Double the height of the wellstone.




After pruning, the obelisk is much more defined and, thank goodness, fairly well centered on the wellstone.




Its narrower profile isn't just for looks. The obelisk is immediately to the south of a huge and free-range American holly, whose lateral growth I'm eager to encourage. The farther the horizontal branches of this immense Ilex opaca grow to the right, the more evenly they'll balance both sides of the obelisk. The more directly sunlight can strike the holly foliage, the quicker and farther the branches can grow, and the fuller their foliage will be.


Here's how to grow this gold-foliaged Leyland cypress.


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