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At Hartley Botanic we have a good relationship with many knowledgeable garden writers both in the UK and USA – here you can enjoy reading their articles and gardening tips.

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Common & uncommonly good

Lobelia is a world-wide genus of uncommonly good glasshouse flowers, indeed almost every member of this large genus has attractive blooms, often coming in masses, usually in a shade of blue. Lobelia has shrubby, evergreen and herbaceous members, annuals, biennials and perennials, there are even a few hardy sorts for the outdoor garden. However the […]

Greenhouse tomatoes – what to do now

Now your greenhouse tomatoes are growing steadily, it is important to remove the side shoots of ‘cordon’ varieties to form a single productive stem. You don’t need scissors or secateurs, just snap them off with your finger and thumb. Make sure your tomatoes are well watered, too, particularly if they are in growing bags where […]

Sowing the Seeds – better than a Paul Daniel’s Magic Set!

I’ve got two daughters, Frances and Zoe, and Frances used to spend many a happy hour trying to do tricks with her Paul Daniels’ magic set. She’d arrive, complete with cape, top hat and wand, and then she’d entertain us with varying degrees of success whilst we tried to take it seriously. That was the […]

Named after ashes this is not at all dull

Some plants, and oddly rather many glasshouse plants, have somewhat misleading common names. This gem has perversely come to be known as Cineraria though it is not a Cineraria but a Senecio. Cinerarias are so named for their soft white downy leaves like cineres the Latin for ashes. Some Senecios also have white or grey […]

‘Hardening off’ and more of this month’s essentials.

Apart from the few days of summer last month we spent most of last month in low light, constant rain and chilling winds, so the ground is still too cold and wet for sowing crops directly and will be for a while yet, so thank goodness there is plenty to do in the greenhouse. Seeds […]

What is the best way to make compost?

There’s a lot of unnecessary myth and magic about making garden compost says Jean Vernon First let’s unravel the confusion between the compost that you buy in bags for container plants and growing seeds. This, the trade, is called growing medium and is basically specially formulated to a precise recipe with a variety of ingredients, […]