Hartley Magazine

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

When is a flower not a flower and even prettier

Often with greenhouse plants we find beautiful blooms such as Bougainvillea are not really flowers at all. These are spectacular displays of modified leaves termed bracts. These bracts form the visible ‘blooms’ and look wonderful for many weeks. Whereas the real floral parts are almost insignificant and not long lived. Anyway this technical difference matters […]

Tomato and Aubergine Cooking

What started in the greenhouse in March is reaching fruition – very literally and bountifully – in the polytunnel now. So many of the months of growing Mediterranean vegetables are about hope, luck, graft and maintenance, but September is very definitely payback time. The plants are barely recognisable now as those tiny shivering things I […]


Sounds like a sneeze, but very pretty, Kalanchoe Kalanchoes are tender greenhouse succulents with masses of brilliantly coloured small flowers that last many weeks in bloom. Most species come from West Africa, Asia and Madagascar, though the name is apparently of Chinese origin. Anyway Kalanchoes have also been called Bryophyllums, Kitchingias, Crassulas and Vereas. One […]

Potting up dandelions

If you cultivate an enlightened attitude to wild plants instead of trying to eradicate them, your garden can share in their success. Put ‘kill dandelions’ into a search engine and up flash nigh on half a million ‘hits’. A good chunk of these include advice on exterminating dandelions using chemical weedkillers (especially the worldwide pollutant […]