Hartley Magazine

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

Fun but Follies – Avocados, Date Palms, Mangoes, Lychees

Greenhouse space is usually limited so we cannot fit in everything we want and must choose just those that most appeal to our needs for bloom, foliage or produce. However there’s also growing something for the sheer fun of it, allowing in plants that may be unlikely to flower, would be a poor show if […]


Just when you have learnt to spell these, they move them to Delosperma, Dorotheanthus, Carpobrotus or Lampranthus. But does it matter as these are still Mesembryanthemaceae, or are they now called Azoiceae? Anyway this huge group includes many succulent genus including the almost cacti-like Lithops, Living Stones, and the really weird finger like Dactylopsis digitata. […]

Cacti, A Great First Plant for Children to Grow

I guess many of us started our interest in gardening with cacti. Despite their obvious drawback of really nasty spines they are so often given to children as first plants. I guess because it’s thought, quite rightly, that these don’t quickly die of neglect. However you can kill them with kindness- too much watering or […]

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 […]