Hartley Magazine

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

Plumbago, not a pain but a flower

Not introduced into our greenhouses and conservatories till 1818 when it was brought from the Cape of Good Hope now known as South Africa. Leadwort, Plumbago, soon became very popular with Victorian gardeners. A lax climbing shrub this can bloom non-stop from the end of winter right through until winter returns again. Without doubt this […]

Time to sow tender vegetables

Early May is the time to sow outdoor cucumbers, marrow, squashes, pumpkins (vertically on edge, not laid flat like a surf board) French and Runner beans and Sweetcorn in gentle heat around 20C in peat substitute seed compost or multipurpose compost individually in 7.5cm pots, ready for planting out once the danger of frost has […]

Sow simple

‘Expert’ advice is good for filling column inches and boosting social media profiles – but much of it is altogether less useful when it comes to getting new gardeners growing. Whatever happened to simplicity, to straightforwardness, to easiness – especially in our gardens and greenhouses? Amid spring’s usual gardening febrility, there’s a noticeable explosion of […]

Making the Most of your Hartley Greenhouse

I regret to say that I only have a modest, unheated Hartley greenhouse, although I fantasise about bigger and better on an almost daily basis. However, my greenhouse serves me well in every season, despite its size, because it captures precocious warmth and sunlight. The air inside is often degrees warmer in winter and early […]

Less Welcome Greenhouse Guests

The protected environment inside a greenhouse is not just good for the plants. Jean Vernon has a few unwelcome guests to evict. It’s spring and nature is stirring. The birds are nesting, the bees are emerging, and the garden is surging into growth. There’s that earthy smell in the greenhouse with seeds sprouting, cuttings rooting […]

April is the month when seed sowing is in full swing.

From now on the weather should begin to warm as spring progresses (note the use of the word ‘should’…. you never know these days!). Sow broad beans, spinach, cabbage, calabrese, kohlrabi, cauliflower, lettuce, peas for pods and shoots onions, salad onions, turnip, radish, beetroot, leeks, leaf beet and chard in the greenhouse. From the middle […]