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.
Longfield Gardens Blog
Hostas are so incredibly tough and easy to grow, that they sometimes don’t get the respect they deserve. More than just problem solvers for shady areas where few other plants will survive, hostas offer gardeners an exciting palette of sizes, colors and textures. Here are some of the many creative ways to use hostas around your home and in
Trilliums are one of America’s most beloved wildflowers. In the spring, you can find them blooming in woodlands and hedgerows throughout most of the country. The plants are easy to identify. Each stem has a whorl of three leaves and a single flower with three petals and three sepals. There are more than 40 species of trilliums and most of them
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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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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!
My idea of a great summer weekend is spending 10 or 15 hours in the garden. But I know not everyone feels the same, and that includes Longfield Gardens co-owner Pete Langeveld. Pete has one of the nicest yards in his neighborhood, with neatly landscaped beds and tons of color all summer long. He loves gardening, but with a busy
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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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Walk through almost any natural area that is shady and moist, and you are bound to see ferns. They carpet the ground in woodlands and swampy areas, gather around springs and stream banks, cascade over rocky outcroppings and decorate old stone walls. Ferns are plentiful in the wild, yet it’s unusual to see them growing in a home landscape. That’s unfortunate, because these
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For bold color in shady gardens, it’s hard to beat tuberous begonias. These lush, heat-loving plants have attractive foliage and big, rose-like flowers that bloom continuously from midsummer to frost. Planted in window boxes, hanging baskets, decorative urns or garden beds, tuberous begonias make it easy to dress up any outdoor living space. Imagine how great they’d look at
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Some gardeners never spend a minute thinking about design. Others (like me) can spend a year finding the perfect spot for a rock. The person who created the garden shown above, definitely thought a lot about design. If you have a shady place in your yard, you can steal some great ideas from this little jewelbox of a garden.
If you grow hostas, you probably have more than one variety in your garden. Mixing and matching foliage colors, leaf sizes and textures is part of what makes growing them so fun. There are more than a dozen different varieties of hostas in my shade garden and I definitely have some favorites. Which begs the