Hartley Magazine

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

Bird of Paradise plant, Strelitzia

Here’s a really lovely conservatory plant with a bit of a drawback. For once it’s not a poor name, though it’s origin is actually obscure enough to win a Mastermind contest: Strelitzia reginae is named after the 1761 marriage of George III to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Similar in many ways and closely resembling the banana […]

Strange Solanums, Goji Berry

So many of our most interesting and useful tender crops and flowers are closely related and in the Solanum family. All the daturas and petunias, brunfelsias and nierembergias, cropping and sweet scented tobaccos, tomatoes and potatoes, peppers, physalis and aubergines, and even that oddly popular Goji berry. I really cannot bring myself to recommend this […]

Cape Gooseberries and Friends

Now I must admit these are not the most attractive nor compact of plants however the Physalis family are exceptionally valuable subjects for growing under cover. Closely related to tomatoes but never suffering any of their problems these are surprisingly easy to cultivate and one can even substitute for a tomato crop. The best known […]

Heaven ‘Scent’ Angels trumpets

Angels trumpets, or Angel Strumpets as someone punned, are spectacular, and easy. Once known as Datura now some are reclassified as Brugmansia which is not appealing and rebelliously many still prefer Datura. The most commonly grown form, D. suavolens, has huge lily like white trumpets with the fantastic scent most marked in the evening. There […]

Swiss Cheese – it’s a plant

In this series of monthly articles Bob explores the incredible range of plants you can grow in a greenhouse, conservatory or plastic tunnel. Not just the purely decorative but the scented and edible also, and maybe those plants that are just downright interesting. This month Bob nominates ~ The Swiss Cheese plant. We all know […]

Don’t Ignore the Sweet Potato

In this series of monthly articles Bob explores the incredible range of plants you can grow in a greenhouse, conservatory or plastic tunnel. Not just the purely decorative but the scented and edible also, and maybe those plants that are just downright interesting. This month Bob nominates ~ Sweet potatoes. Now here is a plant […]

Bananas in the Greenhouse

In this series of monthly articles Bob explores the incredible range of plants you can grow in a greenhouse, conservatory or plastic tunnel. Not just the purely decorative but the scented and edible also, and maybe those plants that are just downright interesting. This month Bob nominates ~Bananas. I admit bananas are not for the […]

Nycto Cereus Cactus

In this series of monthly articles Bob explores the incredible range of plants you can grow in a greenhouse, conservatory or plastic tunnel. Not just the purely decorative but the scented and edible also, and maybe those plants that are just downright interesting. This month Bob nominates the Nycto-Cereus cactus. Now the Cereus, or Nyctocereus […]