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Longfield Gardens Blog

Kath LaLiberte

Recent Posts

Fritillaria imperialis: Time to Plant Pineapple Lilies

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Sep 12, 2017
I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to grow Fritillaria imperialis. I guess I thought these exotic-looking flowers would be difficult.  But now I can tell you: exotic they are, but difficult they’re not. Here are a few things to love about Fritillaria imperialis, also known as crown imperial or pineapple lilies.
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Topics: Spring Blooming Bulbs , Spring Blooming Flowers

New Flirty Fleurs Designer Collections for Fall Planting

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Sep 06, 2017
September is here and it’s time to order your spring-blooming flower bulbs! Our new designer bulb collections can inspire you with uncommon varieties and unexpected color combinations for fall planting. Working with floral designer Alicia Schwede of, we are introducing three gorgeous new flower bulb collections for fall 2017. All are based on arrangements that Alicia
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Topics: Cut Flowers , Fall Planted Bulbs , Spring Blooming Bulbs , Spring Blooming Flowers

Muscari: Perfect Partners for Spring Bulbs

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Aug 30, 2017
This year, when you’re ordering your fall bulbs, make sure to include some muscari. These carefree bulbs — better known as grape hyacinths — are beautiful on their own, but what muscari really excel at is collaborating. Their compact height and soothing blue hues bring out the best in whatever flowers are nearby.
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Topics: Inspiration , Muscari , Spring Blooming Bulbs

Acidanthera: Fragrant Flowers for Late Summer

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Aug 24, 2017
Acidanthera is a lovely, summer-blooming bulb that deserves a place in every flower garden. Curiously, very few gardeners seem to know about it. Being burdened with an unappealing name doesn’t help. Just ask plants like chionodoxa, crocosmia and lisianthus! And to make matters worse, acidanthera goes by nearly a dozen other names, including gladiolus murielae, gladiolus callianthus,
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Topics: Cut Flowers , Summer Blooming Bulbs , Summer Blooming Flowers

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


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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