Hartley Magazine

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

Chilean Butterfly flowers

Also known as Fringe flowers and Poor man’s orchids Schizanthus are a glorious way of filling a glasshouse with summer colour. Coming from S. America this small genus related to potatoes derives both common and scientific names from pretty pansy like blooms. These have split corollas and look much like orchids, and even more like […]

Midsummer suggestions for a productive garden

Fresh tomatoes eaten straight from the plant, are one of the great pleasures of summer. So to get the best from your plants, keep them well shaded, ventilated, fed and watered throughout the growing season and ‘pinch out’ the stem just above the fourth truss to ensure that the fruits ripen. Feed with Epsom Salts […]

Is it worth growing strawberries?

Strawberries are possibly the plant, or fruit that just about everybody wants to grow. And with the extortionate price of these fruits in the shops and the deliciousness of these rich red fruits, it’s no wonder that everyone wants to grow them. When a bowl of strawberries at Wimbledon contains a handful of fruit (usually […]

Local School benefits by auctioning a Patio Glasshouse

St Mary’s C of E Primary School, in our Village recently held their Summer Festival. Bigger and better than ever for 2017 there were many wonderful stalls and entertainment throughout the day. Food and drink was in plentiful supply and everyone had a great time. Despite the ever unpredictable weather the event raised over £6,500. […]

Pesticide roulette

New research confirms that ‘perfect for pollinators’ plants can contain potentially toxic pesticides – so what can gardeners do about it, and how can we improve the odds for insects? A year ago I interviewed Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at Sussex University, about his six-year study into the effects of pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids or […]

How to Grow Agapanthus

True-blue is an evening star because it glows as night falls. I’m not talking cottage-garden, wishy-washy, ‘so-called blues’ in shades that hover between mauve, lavender and grey. Many campanulas, lavenders and hardy geraniums, for instance, come in these softer colours but tend to look a milky grey in evening light. Radiant blues, on the other […]

James Alexander Sinclair Writes About Horatio’s Garden, Glasgow

Over the years I have made a lot of gardens in many parts of the world. They have embraced all sorts of styles and situations from the very formal, to the wildly unkempt from the classical to the modern. However, I think I confidently say that the garden we have made for Horatio in Scotland […]

Extending the flowering season and other seasonal suggestions.

Remove dead or fading flowers from ornamental plants to encourage a longer flowering season. Most can be removed by snapping them off between your finger and thumb or removing them with scissors. It is a particularly useful exercise with roses, because you can wrap your hand right round the petals, gathering them all before they […]