Hartley Magazine

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


You may call it fluke, or happening-to-have-been-at-the-garden-centre-at-just-the-right-time, but I’m going to call it meticulous planning and green fingers. Yes, for the first time ever, I have a hippeastrum in flower for Christmas, and even some other forced bulbs in flower in the greenhouse too, just like you are meant to have. I’m never entirely sure […]

Getting ready for winter – Brrr!

Some plants dislike the damp that characterises our winter weather, particularly plants like cushion alpines, as any leaves left on them, causes them to rot. Pick off fallen leaves regularly and cover with a pane of glass, polycarbonate or Perspex as protection. Helleborus niger, the ‘Christmas Rose’ needs covering too, so raindrops don’t splash soil […]

Turmeric wrapped rice and banana parcels

A little while ago I wrote here of having grown ginger, tumicini and turmeric roots in my glasshouse among other similarly exotic things, as an experiment. I bought the roots from a Thai super market, very much inspired by a Thai grower I met last year who told me that as the British weather didn’t […]

Winter prune your apples and pears – but don’t prune your prunes!

Winter pruning of apple and pear trees is important so that they remain attractive, easy to manage, healthy and crop prolifically. You can prune anytime between leaf fall and bud burst, providing the weather is not cold and frosty; the aim is to create an open goblet shape. First, remove any shoots or branches that […]