Hartley Magazine

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

Growing Carrots – Which Varieties?

Last year‘s carrot crop was reasonable, considering the soil, they prefer it light and free draining but my garden is clay. This year I‘m hoping for even greater success from my new raised beds filled with well rotted compost, fertiliser made from wormcasts and sieved loam that will improve the growing conditions all round. They […]

Growing Soft Fruit – Gooseberries, Red and White Currants

Few gardeners grow soft fruit these days, a few strawberries or a row or two of raspberries at the very most – Red or White currants are out of the question because gardeners assume that they take up a lot of space. I inherited a range of familiar and unusual red and white currants and […]

Cannas, Sweet Peppers, Chilli and Silver Birch

The biting chill of early snow and promises of a cold winter have made the shelter of a cosy greenhouse very welcome! This year I‘m really feeling the cold; until late November I was basking in tropical sunshine on a cruise through the Caribbean and Panama canal, a fact envied by several friends who had […]

Rainforest Flowering Cacti

All cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti! They combine to form a remarkable group that flourishes in deserts, one of the most hostile environments in the world. However, not all bask in hot dry conditions, a few prefer rainforest conditions, living in the upper branches of trees where high evaporation rates and […]

Buying Flowers For your Garden in Madeira

Madeira, a jewel in the Atlantic with a balmy, maritime climate, is known as the ‘Island of flowers‘ and every year, particularly in early spring, British gardeners arrive on its shores to savour the joys of landscapes awash with wild flowers and gardens burgeoning with blooms. The major town, Funchal, (so called because early Portugese […]

Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds

Growing vegetables in raised beds, a technique developed centuries ago in Asia, is the perfect way to make small domestic plots productive. There are many tempting advantages; the soil warms earlier in spring, extending the growing season, they are easier to maintain as you don‘t have to bend to ground level, crops are sown closer […]

Seeds for Autumn and Winter

As the first autumn catalogues arrive through the letterbox, it‘s time to order seeds for autumn and winter vegetables. Most gardeners close down the green house in winter, using it only to protect tender plants in a frost free environment. Don‘t limit your options, it‘s a great opportunity to grow salads in cool, frost free […]

Pelargonium Flowering in the Summer

We‘re past mid-summer and the erratic spring weather that overstayed its welcome has been replaced by a spell of high temperatures and traditional thunderstorms. All of the lovely rainwater is too good to waste so I‘ve somewhat belatedly added water butts to the down pipes on the greenhouse. There‘s a range of designs on the […]