Open Day for My Personal Garden
Personal gardens are different from client gardens not just in degree but in species. Client gardens are created, willingly & with joy, to solve the problems & satisfy the dreams of others. They need to celebrate a maximum of assurance borne from decades of experience, with a minimum of seat-of-the-pants improvisation.
A personal garden is all about experimentation & improvisation. It’s the temple of whims & manias, unjustifiable passions & incomprehensible choices. With gleeful iconoclasm, it mocks normal standards of practicality & intensity. Its most valuable currency isn’t money. It’s bravery.
About twenty years ago, Louis Raymond and his partner Richard bought their property in part to be closer to New York City. But mainly so that Louis could finally begin creating his own garden. The land is about an acre & a half of level terrain with deep rich soil. Espaliers, pergolas, and hedges define an immense grid of walkways separating vast mixed borders stuffed with sky-high perennials, grasses, annuals, shrubs, topiary, tropicals, vines, and trees. Everywhere, a defiantly out-of-control collection of containered specimen plants jostle for space, while towers for annual vines soar to twenty feet.
At two decades and counting, Louis’ garden is, literally, the project of a lifetime. So far, so good.
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Louis Raymond Designs
Louis Raymond has been gardening for over 60 years—ever since, as a pre-schooler, he “borrowed” geraniums from public gardens across the street from the family home. By first grade, it was already thought appropriate that he demonstrate to his class how to sprout an avocado pit in a glass of water.
Raymond took the scenic route to his current vocations as landscape designer, board president, lecturer, writer, & occasional auctioneer: By the time he was twenty-five, he had already earned baccalaureate degrees in chemistry, piano, & voice — and still found time for a couple of years of medical school along the way — before launching a successful career as an opera singer. By thirty, he had retired from the stage—while retaining his stage name—to take up the trowel full-time. (Louis’s Wiki page is the only public proof of his birth name.)
Louis & his landscapes have appeared in everything from The Wall Street Journal to The Narragansett Times, Good Housekeeping to The Washington Post. One of his Narragansett gardens was the cover of House & Garden Magazine. For six years, he was the Show Designer for the New England Spring Flower & Garden Show.
Louis transforms properties for a largely residential client base from Canada to the Caribbean, Connecticut to California. Check out thirty of his favorite projects at LouisRaymond.Design. And visit LouisThePlantGeek.com, his site for uncommon & astonishing plants world-wide.