Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Disa Orchids at Hampton Court Flower Show

I’m always on the prowl for exotic looking plants and the ones that caught my eye this year at the Hampton Court Flower Show were the ‘Disa’ orchids from Dave Parkinson plants. Dave used to grow salad crops commercially but then turned his love of these orchids into a business. They come in pink, yellow […]

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2010: Conceptual Gardens

After the formal perfection of Chelsea Flower Show gardens, the relaxed atmosphere at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show acts as a welcome contrast. There’s plenty of room to spread out in this gorgeous setting, and providing a tornado isn’t blowing or the heavens haven’t opened up, there’s nowhere nicer to be in July. The […]

Bird of Paradise plant, Strelitzia

Here’s a really lovely conservatory plant with a bit of a drawback. For once it’s not a poor name, though it’s origin is actually obscure enough to win a Mastermind contest: Strelitzia reginae is named after the 1761 marriage of George III to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Similar in many ways and closely resembling the banana […]

Strange Solanums, Goji Berry

So many of our most interesting and useful tender crops and flowers are closely related and in the Solanum family. All the daturas and petunias, brunfelsias and nierembergias, cropping and sweet scented tobaccos, tomatoes and potatoes, peppers, physalis and aubergines, and even that oddly popular Goji berry. I really cannot bring myself to recommend this […]

Cordon Tomatoes – Ring Culture

After several weeks of patient waiting, my tomato plants are now well established. Once the first truss appears, I’ll be transplanting them into 12” pots, to give the soil in the greenhouse border a rest. It’s advisable to change the soil every three or four years, so devise your own rotation system. Try growing them […]

Grafted Vegetables – You’re going to want them

Grafted what? OK, as home gardeners, most of us are familiar with grafting apples, roses or grapes for disease resistance and vigor. But right now, around the world—from Japan to India, Israel to Greece and New Zealand—commercial growers are grafting hybrid rootstocks (bottoms) to single-season scions (tops) like watermelons, eggplants or tomatoes. Within a few […]