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

Gold-Needled Umbrella Pine

No garden where umbrella pine is hardy should be without one. The conifer’s unique quill-like needles, and their striking array at the tips of bare stems—looking like the spokes of an umbrella—are a tactical & visual thrill.

Sciadopitys verticillata Gold Star 120718 hand 320

The brightly-hued needles of Gold Star ramp up this species' desirability even more. Other forms are dwarf, or columnar, variegated, or green.  On second thought, every garden needs multiple umbrella pines. 

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The Best Season Ever: Lablab

It's the rare vegetable that's showy enough for the garden at large. What others are there besides fancy-leaved kale, cardoons, Jerusalum artichokes, and artisanal grains such as broom corn and amaranth?


Lablab! This astonishing bean is grown world-wide as animal fodder, as well as for human consumption of its flowers, foliage, roots, and pods. It's also grown world-wide as a garden ornamental.

Lablab purpureus pods bloom fingers 092918 320

Here, the glossy rhubarb-pink pods glint in the sun. The long spikes of pink flowers earlier in the season are singular, as well. Then, there's the foliage!  

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Bamboo Foliage: the Alpha & Omega

Leaves of big-leaved bamboo are the largest: up to two feet long. Despite their tropical size, its hardy to coastal Maine.

Otatea acuminata subs. aztecorum Indocalamus tessellatus 091117 320

Among the smallest leaves of any bamboo are those of Mexican weeping bamboo. The day it was headed to the greenhouse for the winter, I had set my young containered specimen in front of my colony of big-leaved. Could the contrast be more striking? Of whatever hardiness or character, several forms of bamboo are essential in my garden—in any garden. 

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Gold-needled Dawn Redwood

Conifers with gold foliage can be too much of a bright thing: Their often-rigid habit combines with their vivid, usually-evergreen foliage to ensure a year-round prominence that succeeds only if you've provided the center-stage spot they crave.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides Ogon 092918 320

Gold-leaved dawn redwood, by contrast, brings grace, subtlety, seasonal variety, and unexpected flexibility to its performance. No wonder it's essential. 

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The Best Season Ever: 'Rubyglow' Passionvine in Bloom

The hardy passion vine has been in flower for months, and is just completing its floral show for the year. The floral season of this giant tender form, Ruby Glow, is just beginning.

Passifora alata Ruby Glow from front with blossom held horizontal 092218 320

Summer's leafy growth was the definition of exuberance: Next year, I'll supply a tower twenty feet high, not "just" fourteen. These massive, colorful flowers are even more exciting.

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