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Longfield Gardens Blog

Kath LaLiberte

Recent Posts

Late Summer Flower Bulbs Hit Their Stride

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Aug 17, 2017
August is an exciting time in our trial garden. There’s something new to admire every single day. This month the stars of the show are summer bulbs, and in particular, cannas and dahlias. Here’s a quick peek at what we’re seeing.
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Topics: Dahlias , Summer Blooming Bulbs , Summer Blooming Flowers

12 Best Companion Plants for Hostas

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Aug 10, 2017
Hostas have no trouble holding their own in a shady garden. Yet there are many other shade loving perennials that make excellent companions. By adding their own contrasting colors, shapes, heights and textures, these plants accentuate the simple elegance of the hosta’s foliage. Plus, they add months of early season interest.
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Topics: Foliage Plants , Perennials , Shade Plants

Love Hummingbirds? Grow Some Crocosmia!

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jul 27, 2017
Hummingbirds have a weakness for red flowers. So even though it’s not MY favorite color, I always try to have a few red flowers in the garden —  just for the hummingbirds. Some years it’s salvias and hibiscus. Others it’s fuschias or geraniums. Always there’s  Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  Its flowers are redder than red and there’s just no way a hummingbird can
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Topics: Habitat Gardens , Perennials , Summer Blooming Flowers

A Midsummer Tour of Our Trial Garden

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on
August is just a couple days away, and in our New Jersey trial garden the heat is definitely ON!  We are located in the eastern part of the state about 10 miles from the ocean and summertime temperatures are typically in the 90’s. This 3/4 acre garden, was (not very long ago) a scrub-covered empty lot behind our warehouse and offices. Eventually there will
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Topics: Lilies , Summer Blooming Bulbs

How to Grow Dahlias in a Cutting Garden

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jul 20, 2017
It’s midsummer and the dahlias are coming on strong. This year, my cutting garden is filled with 70 of these solar-powered flower-producing machines. Hopefully this is the peak of my dahlia obsession and I’ll be able to scale back next year. (Yeah, right?) These plants have already been pushing out blossoms for several weeks, and will continue blooming right through
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Topics: Cut Flowers , Dahlias , Summer Blooming Flowers

Midsummer Maintenance Tips for Perennial Gardens

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jul 12, 2017
Part of what makes public gardens like Sissinghurst, Kew or Longwood so impressive, is how well the plants are tended during the growing season. Keeping a perennial garden looking good from May to September is about more than good design and smart plant choices. It’s also about maintaining the plants so they always look their best.
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Topics: How-To , Perennials , Summer Blooming Flowers

8 Tips for Growing Better Lilies

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jul 05, 2017
Lilies have an elegance few other flowers can rival. With such big, exotic-looking blossoms, it seems like they’d be tricky to grow. But they’re not! Here are eight tips to help you succeed with these gorgeous summer-blooming flower bulbs.
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Topics: Cut Flowers , Lilies , Summer Blooming Bulbs

Best Ground Covers for Shade

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jun 29, 2017
  Shade tolerant ground covers solve a multitude of landscaping problems. These plants thrive in cool, moist areas where lawns usually struggle. They hide uneven surfaces and are not fazed by steep, inaccessible slopes. Most are long-lived perennials that get more beautiful over time. Plus, they never need mowing!
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Topics: Foliage Plants , Shade Plants

American Flowers Week: Make a Flower Arrangement and Join the Fun

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jun 21, 2017
Next week is American Flowers Week and we are inviting you to help celebrate! This annual event is designed to raise awareness about the value of locally grown cut flowers. To participate, you don’t need to be a flower farmer, flower shop owner or floral design studio. If you love cutting and arranging flowers, you’re
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Topics: Cut Flowers

5 Tips for a More Bee-Friendly Flower Garden

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jun 15, 2017
Many years ago, I had a neighbor who was a beekeeper. We used to joke about him giving me a discount on honey, because I was sure his bees spent most of their time in my flower garden. I didn’t know how true that was until he moved away and the bees went with him!
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Topics: Habitat Gardens , How-To , Summer Blooming Flowers


Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

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