Hartley Magazine

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

Fan palms or Dr Livistona I presume

Fan palms, Livistona chinensis & L. rotundifolia, are tough enduring specimens for frost free greenhouses, conservatories or even as house plants. These endure considerable neglect yet make highly decorative foliage displays year round. Although flowering and even fruiting does happen this occurs when mature- by which time these could be 30 feet for the chinensis […]

Persian Buttercups

The beautiful flowers of Ranunculus asiaticus have been cultivated for centuries and are especially good for growing in modern frost free greenhouses. With their long stems and perfect form their blooms are both excellent for cutting or adding colour to a foliage display especially in early and mid summer. Credited with coming from Persia these […]

Kentia, the Aussie palm trees

These stately palms have long been seen in many fin de siècle drawing rooms, as backdrops on film sets and at all sorts of large events, indeed as often as simply decorating conservatories and greenhouses. Discovered on Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales this Australian palm, Howeria, rapidly became incredibly popular […]

University Gardener Was Sinning

The quintessential greenhouse flower is Gloxinia. This tropically splendid beauty produces wonderful displays of luxuriant blooms. Each large almost wineglass shaped flower has fleshy petals with a velvety sheen. As the petals fade the flower drops leaving an attractive star shaped calyx. These were discovered in Brazil and South America and introduced to our Greenhouses, […]

Commelina, Blue Spider-wort, Day-flower

With gorgeous sky blue flowers all of summer the Blue Spider-wort is an ideal plant for a cool greenhouse. True it’s a tad lax and can flop if not supported and the waist high stems of lanceolate leaves are not exactly stunning. However continuous displays of gentian blue flowers redeems all. As these lovely blooms […]

The bells, the bells… Campanulas

As often found in an alpine house as a greenhouse many Bellflowers, Campanulas, are rock garden and border plants. However some low growing and prostrate species are delightful under cover for filling in around the base of taller plants with their verdant foliage and masses of cool blue flowers. Campanula is an interesting, floriferous and […]

Common & uncommonly good

Lobelia is a world-wide genus of uncommonly good glasshouse flowers, indeed almost every member of this large genus has attractive blooms, often coming in masses, usually in a shade of blue. Lobelia has shrubby, evergreen and herbaceous members, annuals, biennials and perennials, there are even a few hardy sorts for the outdoor garden. However the […]

Named after ashes this is not at all dull

Some plants, and oddly rather many glasshouse plants, have somewhat misleading common names. This gem has perversely come to be known as Cineraria though it is not a Cineraria but a Senecio. Cinerarias are so named for their soft white downy leaves like cineres the Latin for ashes. Some Senecios also have white or grey […]