Hartley Magazine

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

Autumn Fireworks – the penstemon

A good garden should shine throughout the year and it should also provide plenty of nectar from early spring until late autumn. This is the time of year to think about late-flowering plants, because many of them come from the southern hemisphere, particularly South America. Flowers tend to be pigment packed, with plenty of reds, […]

Daphnes

I apologise if you’re a Daphne, but Daphnes are capricious creatures. However I’m not talking people, I’m talking plants. These gloriously scented, shrubby plants, designed for hedonsists as well as gardeners, cast a special sort of magic and they’re an essential part of my garden. However,  just when they’re at their best, they’re likely to […]

Erythroniums – Spring’s Tiffany Lamps

If there’s one plant that makes April special in my garden it’s Erythronium californicum  ‘White Beauty’. The creamy flowers have six upturned petals that fly outwards to form a wide lily shape. Seen from above the petals display a cool hint of green as they meet the stem, catching the same glint of green found in the […]

Confessions of a Helle-bore

There’s no question about it. I have too many hellebores in my garden. I know this is true because the famous nurseryman, Bob Brown, once came to my garden and exclaimed in basso profundo “too many hellebores Val.” The late Christopher Lloyd, of Great Dixter, went even further and called people like me helle-bores. Fortunately […]

Marigolds – easy flecks of sunshine

One of the things I use my greenhouse for is raising annuals every spring. One of my very favourites is the marigold because it flowers right through summer until the first frosts. The flowers come in sunny shades of mahogany-red, orange and warm-yellow and these colours attract hoverflies and pollen beetles. The hoverflies look like […]