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Longfield Gardens Blog

Kath LaLiberte

Recent Posts

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

8 Tips for Growing Better Dahlias

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Jun 07, 2017
Dahlia fever is running wild through the gardening world and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon.  If you have caught the dahlia bug, here are eight tips for growing bigger, better flowers this summer.
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Topics: Cut Flowers , Dahlias , Summer Blooming Flowers

How Was Your Spring Bulb Garden?

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on May 31, 2017
One of the best things about a spring bulb garden is the surprise factor.  When I plant bulbs in the fall, I usually have a plan as to color combinations and placement. But by the time spring arrives, it’s hard to remember which varieties I planted and where I put them. Sound familiar?
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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs , Spring Blooming Bulbs , Spring Blooming Flowers

High Impact Container Gardens

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on May 24, 2017
If I were hiring a garden designer to plant the containers around my front door, I’d expect to get something pretty special.  Big, dramatic plants in unique and surprising combinations. Container gardens that get talked about and that look fabulous every single day from summer through fall.
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Topics: Container Plants , Foliage Plants , Garden Design , Summer Blooming Bulbs

Another Reason to Love Ornamental Alliums: Seed Heads!

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on May 17, 2017
The big, round flower heads of ornamental alliums are irresistible — at least they are to me. My gardens now contain about a dozen different types, yet still I crave more. There’s just something so unexpected and playful about them. These hardy and reliable perennials are also long-blooming, pollinator-friendly and seemingly immune to diseases and pests, including deer.
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Topics: Alliums , Cut Flowers , Fall Planted Bulbs , Spring Blooming Bulbs


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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