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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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Written in United States

In Praise of Paper Catalogs

Right now, my breakfast table is piled with gardening catalogs for my reading pleasure. And yet, I must ask—in this digital age, why do nursery folks continue to go to the time, trouble, and expense to put these colorful collections of plant offerings into my hands? “Our customers aren’t futurized,” one nursery employee wryly notes […]

Written in United States

Immigrant Gardeners and Tastes of Home

Some years ago I wrote a book titled The Art of the Kitchen Garden about the evolution of fruit and vegetable growing and cookery from the 15th to the 18th century. Greenhouses evolved in part, I learned, from the introduction in the 17th century to Europe of the exotic pineapple, which quickly went from oddity […]

Written in United States

The Potting Shed

If you own a greenhouse, where do you keep your tools and supplies, such as trowels, rakes, scoops, shears, pots, potting soil, fertilizers, pesticides, cleaning gear, and other necessities? All these things collectively take up a lot of space, especially in a small greenhouse. Clutter inside a greenhouse competes with and detracts from the plants, […]

Written in United States

Greenhouse Glory—How to Make Your Poinsettias Bloom Every Year

I confess—I’m a poinsettia composter. I tried growing them on after the holidays with my other houseplants, and the results were leggy and dismal. Now I’m talking with Kym Pokorny, a gardener, a 20-year veteran garden writer, and communications specialist at Oregon State University Extension Service. She’s always been interested in this iconic holiday plant. […]

Written in United States

Conservatories and Conservation the Rancho Gordo Way

These days, more than ever, words matter. And in the realm of this column I got to wondering about the meaning of conservatory, which is more complex, it turns out, than the one for greenhouse. The latter is pretty much self-explanatory, a house where green things grow. But on turning to my copy of the […]

Written in United States

Grow Your Own Asian Herbs and Spices for Dinner

I recently cooked a Thai dinner with ingredients from my greenhouse, including kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, Thai basil, and Thai hot peppers. Here are tips on growing each. Kaffir lime is a small tree with serrated leaves that are chopped or sliced into tiny slivers. To harvest these leaves for Asian meals, buy a […]

Written in United States

Best Easy-Care Plants for Years to Come

It’s the time of year for giving thanks. And as a professional garden writer, I am thankful for the exciting new plants from growers and marketers that I get to trial and review. However, sometimes many seasons pass before plants demonstrate just how good they really are. So, I’d like to share a couple of […]