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Longfield Gardens Blog

Amaryllis Bulbs: Why Size Matters

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Nov 16, 2015 2:40:00 PM

During the holiday season, amaryllis bulbs are readily available at a wide range of different prices. Here's how to decide which bulbs are the best value.

Flower bulbs contain stored food energy. When a bulb starts growing, it uses these reserves to fuel its growth and flower production.

Like most bulbs, amaryllis are graded by size -- which is measured in centimeters around the widest part of the bulb. For most amaryllis varieties, bulb sizes typically range from 26 to 36 cm. Larger bulbs have the energy that's needed to produce more stems and more flowers than smaller bulbs:

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Planting Tips for Naturalizing Daffodils

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Nov 12, 2015 10:00:00 AM

After months of harsh winter weather, I am desperate for flowers. And to my eyes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a meadow of daffodils: drifts of delicate blossoms, fluttering and dancing in the breeze, blooming in carefree abundance.

Daffodils are the best bulbs for naturalizing. They grow almost anywhere, multiply readily, and the bulbs are inexpensive. In a relatively short time, a hundred bulbs can become thousands, so even if you never plant another bulb, you’ll get a bigger and more impressive show of flowers each year.

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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Spring Blooming Flowers, Daffodils, Spring Blooming Bulbs

The Flowerhouse - A Blooming Showcase of Past, Present and Future

Posted by Marlene Thompson on Nov 4, 2015 7:30:00 AM


It was a signature Michigan autumn evening: crisp, cool and a little windy. The chill in the air didn’t deter the big crowd that gathered to celebrate the 10th and final Field to Vase Dinner and celebration of the Flowerhouse in Hamtramck.

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Topics: Tulips, Dahlias, Inspiration, Peonies

Hurry Spring with Early-Blooming Bulbs

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Oct 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

I don't care what the calendar says. At my house it's not spring until I can see a flower in bloom. That's why I count on snowdrops, crocuses and chionodoxa to fill my year with more spring and less winter.

Snowdrops are the first spring bulbs to bloom in my garden. In fact, I start looking for them while there’s still snow on the ground. I need to be out there daily, because one day there’s no sign of them and the next day they're in full bloom. Maybe one of these times I’ll catch them as they emerge from the frozen ground.

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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Crocus, Spring Blooming Flowers, Spring Blooming Bulbs

Perfect Pairs: 3 Ways to Combine Muscari with Tulips or Daffodils

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Oct 22, 2015 10:15:00 AM

We plant more than 10,000 flower bulbs in our trial gardens each fall. That's a lot of bulbs and it takes more than a week to plant them all, but there’s no better way to evaluate performance, check heights and bloom times, and experiment with mixes and combinations.

During April and May the garden is a riot of color with a ribbon of blue muscari weaving its way from one bed to another. Muscari armeniacum, also known as grape hyacinth, is an ideal companion for both tulips and daffodils -- and we plant lots of it.

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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Tulips, Daffodils, Muscari

Pick Your Favorite Alliums and Pin It to Win It!

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Oct 16, 2015 10:00:00 AM

If you haven't already ordered your allium bulbs, now's the time! Like tulips and daffodils, ornamental alliums are planted in the fall for flowers next spring and early summer.

Which alliums are you planting this fall? Many people don't realize that there are more than a dozen different types of ornamental alliums. Some, like Globemaster (shown above) have heads as big as cantaloupes. The flowers of others, like Graceful, are much smaller, but equally amazing.

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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Alliums, Spring Blooming Bulbs

How to Protect Tulip Bulbs From Voles

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Oct 8, 2015 10:15:00 AM

Meadow voles are harmless creatures and actually pretty cute, but for gardeners they can be a big nuisance. These furry, mouse-like rodents are voracious eaters. Their favorite foods include flower bulbs and tubers, root crops like carrots and beets, and the roots of ornamental plants. They also chew on the bark of shrubs and small trees.

Voles can be found throughout the northern half of the country. One vole isn't a problem -- but they don't come in ones. Female voles mature in just 35 to 40 days and during their 12-month lifespan, they can have as many as 10 litters of 3 to 6 young!


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Topics: Tulips

Field to Vase Event Celebrates Locally-Grown Cut Flowers

Posted by Danielle Ernest on Sep 30, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Recently, Longfield Gardens sponsored an event that is very dear to us – supporting American grown cut flowers. The Field to Vase Dinner was held in Mt. Vernon, Washington, about an hour and a half north of Seattle.

As I drove to Jello Mold Farm, I couldn’t wait to see the beautiful fields of dahlias, zinnias and other plants grown for florists across the Pacific Northwest. My one marker to find the farm? Copper jello molds in all shapes and sizes, nailed to a power pole by the entrance. When the owners of Jello Mold Farms, Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall, lived in the city, they had dreams of owning a farm filled with cut flowers. Their dream became reality in 2002. They own a sustainable, organic flower farm that provides cuts of multiple plants to florists throughout the region.


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Topics: Tulips, Color Trends, Inspiration, Cut Flowers

Want Bigger, Brighter Tulips? Plant Hybrids!

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Sep 24, 2015 10:15:00 AM

Hybrid tulips such as Rosy Delight, shown above in our trial gardens last spring, are outstanding performers and a great choice for any spring flower garden. What makes hybrid tulips so special?

Hybrids are nature’s way of increasing genetic diversity and giving plants an extra measure of vigor. Nature creates hybrids when wind or insects move pollen from one type of flower to another. Plant breeders can also create hybrids by intentionally fertilizing a flower with the pollen from a different type of flower.


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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Spring Blooming Flowers, Tulips, Spring Blooming Bulbs

Color-Changing Tulips: New Varieties for Fall 2015

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Sep 17, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Holland’s flower bulb breeders are always working on something new. One development we've been watching closely is a range of new tulip varieties with built-in color variations. In some cases these tulips change color over time and in others, a single variety produces flowers in several different colors.

This year, we are excited to be introducing two of these color-changing tulips. The first is ‘Sundowner’, a double late tulip with gorgeous, peony-like flowers.


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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs, Spring Blooming Flowers, Tulips, Color Trends, Spring Blooming Bulbs, Inspiration

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