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: Gold-leaved Paper Mulberry in Flower

 broussonetia-papyrifera-golden-shadow-051913-640

 

In Spring, there's a lot going on with the gold-leaved paper mulberry. The brightest and biggest feature—the gold leaves—is just the beginning. When just emerging, their color is Fig Newton brown, which just happens to be the color of the catkins, too. The caterpillar-like shape of these catkins indicates that they are bearing male flowers; female flowers are formed in round heads. Paper mulberry is a dioecious species and this form, Broussonetia papyrifera 'Golden Shadow', is clearly a male.

 

The pollen of these male flowers is a pale yellow that echoes the yellow of the leaves.

 

 broussonetia-papyrifera-golden-shadow-for-tips-051913-640

 

If only the tips of the branches didn't die back. Yes, their shade of brown is in reasonable harmony with that of the young foliage and the catkins. But their brown indicates death, whereas this tree's other shades of brown are connected with its signs of life.

 

Consistency of message—It's Spring, the season of new life and expanding possibilities!—outweighs the purity of the color palette. I'll snip off this tree's dead branch tips this week.

 

Thank goodness I'm growing 'Golden Shadow' as a shrub, not a free-range tree. There will never be many tips to snip, and they'll always be within easy reach. In their own way, these dead tips are helping: By dying, they cease production of a hormone that plant tips produce, which inhibits growth of tips farther down the stem and, presumably, less advantageously sited to soak up the sun. By producing more of its growth from within its canopy instead of at the top surface, this tree's overall height is, to a degree, more restrained. It's "self-shrubbing."

 

 

Here's how to grow this glorious golden tree.

 

Here's a closer look at this tree's shape-shifting foliage. The leaves it produces in Spring have one shape; those produced in Summer, quite another.

 

Here's how interesting the bark of this tree is: That of the trunk has a vertical pattern like that of snakeskin, whereas bark of youngs stems is smooth and green.

 

 
 
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