Hartley Magazine

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

When’s a tomato not a tomato

Although greenhouse tomatoes have so far seldom been devastated by Blight to anywhere near the same extent as outdoor crops this seems worryingly on the increase. To say little of wilts, rots and the dreaded Mosaic virus. (Interestingly though Mosaic virus infections have decreased with the decline in smoking ie handling tobacco was the source). […]

You couldn’t make it up

“Oh Bob, how could you?” said a friend spying this nestling amongst my edible, scented and useful greenhouse specimens. Coral Bead plant does catch the eye, and to all the world looks just as if it’s one of those market stall plant travesties sprayed with paint, glitter or bedaubed with plastic flowers, fruits or bugs. […]

Acmella, the Toothache plant

A lush foliage plant for a cool greenhouse Acmella makes a cascading mound of verdant foliage with almost non-stop production of cheery yellow pom-pom flower heads. Also known as the Electric Daisy, Alphabet plant, Australian cress, Para cress, Cresson du Brezil, Hoko So and Toothache plant, Acmella oleracea was originally Spilanthese acmella before moving from […]

Basella, or tropical spinach

  Without a greenhouse this tropical climbing vegetable, Basella, is hardly worth attempting thus it’s little known in the UK though with a plethora of common names indicating worldwide popularity. Vine Spinach, Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, Gambian Spinach, Malabar Nightshade to name but a few. Originally growing wild in much of the East […]

Pretty poisonous, Ricinus

Many greenhouse plants are poisonous so one always needs be vigilant if children visit. And particularly with seeds of the pretty Castor Oil plant, Ricinus communis, from the Euphorbia family. Though the foliage and flowers are poisonous these seeds are extremely toxic. Once known as Palma Christi the seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs, […]

When is a ginger not ginger

Often confused are the edible Ginger (the root) of commerce and these flamboyant greenhouse ornamentals. However that’s not surprising as they’re closely related, and similar in appearance and habit. However the Kahili ginger, Hedychium gardenerium, is most definitely not edible, which is a bit unfortunate as this grows considerably larger and would make a great […]