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Longfield Gardens Blog

6 Tips for Growing Clematis – the Queen of Climbers

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Mar 13, 2018
Clematis have an important role to play in any flower garden. As they scramble up trellises, climb over arbors and thread themselves through other plants, these perennial vines weave a rich tapestry of color and texture. Read on for six tips that will help you be successful growing the “queen of climbers.” Do Your Research There are many wonderful clematis varieties to choose from,
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Topics: How-To , Perennials

How to Use Pink in Your Flower Garden

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Feb 13, 2018
Gardeners often have a strong opinion about the color pink. In truth, it can be challenging to work with. Read on to learn why that’s true, and get some tips and techniques for using pink in your flower garden. Cultural biases are the first challenge to overcome. Pink is a color that’s often associated with sweets, babies, girls, cuteness, cotton candy and
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Topics: Fall Planted Bulbs , How-To , Inspiration , Perennials , Spring Blooming Bulbs , Spring Planted Bulbs

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 , Spring Planted Bulbs , Summer Blooming Flowers , Summer Bulbs

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

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 , Perennials , Shade Plants

Spring Garden Checklist for a Low Maintenance Flower Garden

Posted by Melinda Myers on May 03, 2017
Boost your garden’s beauty and reduce on-going maintenance with a bit of early season care. This spring garden checklist will help you focus on what matters most. Recently I met a horticulturist who practices “cocktail gardening.” She learned the technique from her professor in college.  He recommended investing time at the beginning of the garden
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Topics: Container Gardening , How-To , Perennials , Summer Blooming Flowers , Summer Bulbs

Growing Lily of the Valley: Tips and Tales

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Apr 12, 2017
Lily of the valley has a long and fascinating history.  Over the centuries, these fragrant little blossoms have inspired stories, songs, poetry, festivals and folk traditions. When I was a child, singing rounds was a big thing and my favorite was always: White coral bells upon a slender stalk Lilies of the valley line my garden walk.
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Topics: Perennials , Shade Plants

Attract Butterflies to Your Garden with Liatris

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Apr 05, 2017
Would you like to see more butterflies fluttering through your garden this summer? Based on what we’ve seen in our New Jersey trial gardens, it’s very easy to do — just plant some liatris! Last summer we planted several hundred of these bulb-like corms to see how they would perform in perennial beds, containers and
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Topics: Habitat Gardens , Perennials , Summer Blooming Flowers

Give Your Garden a Lift with Clematis

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Mar 29, 2017
Clematis and other flowering vines, play a special role in flower gardens. Since these plants grow up rather than out, they fill spaces that other plants can’t, and introduce a whole new dimension of color and texture. In Britain, most flower gardens include one or more clematis vines. Here in the U.S, they are far less common. I think that’s because many people aren’t
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Topics: Inspiration , Perennials


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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