Hartley Magazine

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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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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 […]

Sowing sweet peas and other seasonal happenings.

Sow sweet peas indoors from October to November. Soften the seed coat, by putting the seeds on a layer of kitchen towel on a dinner plate, put another layer on top. Dampen the towel, drain off excess water and sow as soon as they begin to swell or sprout, usually after about 48 hours. Those […]

What’s a good way to compost small scale?

We all want to do our bit for reducing what we send to landfill and recycling as much as we can. Transforming our kitchen (and some garden) waste into a rich soil conditioner ticks so many boxes for eco warriors and natural gardeners, but it’s rare to find the right information so that you select […]

University Gardener Was Sinning

The quintessential greenhouse flower is Gloxinia. This tropically splendid beauty produces wonderful displays of luxuriant blooms. Each large almost wineglass shaped flower has fleshy petals with a velvety sheen. As the petals fade the flower drops leaving an attractive star shaped calyx. These were discovered in Brazil and South America and introduced to our Greenhouses, […]

Bubble wrapping your greenhouse – yes, or no?

When it is warm and sunny, sow trays, pots or old growing bags with ‘cut and come again crops’ to harvest through autumn and into winter, think land cress, oriental salads, like pak choi, mizuna and mibuna greens plus lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, chicory and radish. You can also use what’s left in the packets from […]

Why do gardeners get the blame for wasting water?

Jean Vernon defends gardeners against the summertime accusation of wasting water We’ve had a lovely spell of hot weather this summer, which in some areas has led to a hosepipe ban and as usual the finger of blame, is pointed at the gardener. Well I beg to differ. I disagree strongly and I want to […]

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 […]