Hartley Magazine

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


Clivia in the Greenhouse

Europeans discovered clivias in Cape Province, South Africa, in 1815, and soon after some of the plants were taken to England. The Duchess of Northumbria, Lady Charlotte Percy (nee Clive) first succeeded in getting them to flower there, so the genus was called Clivia in her honor. Although more than 1,000 clivia cultivars and hybrids […]

Great Garden Books to Read in the Company of Plants

Do you overwinter plants in your greenhouse or sun porch? If it’s warm enough in there, I suggest you pull up a comfy chair near your pelargoniums or Meyer lemon and dream of spring with these terrific gardening reads. One is a beautiful coffee table book with an important message and the other’s a digital […]


Repotting Oriental Lilies – a project for those late Fall rainy days.

I was digging over a garden bed last week and dug out several Oriental lily bulbs. When you dig out “oriental” or “Asian” lilies, be sure to use a garden fork, not a spade. A spade will slice into the bulbs. These had not been dug for five or six years so it was time […]

Save yourself hassle: Prepare Power Tools for Winter Storage

It’s late fall, and the outdoor flowers are parched with frost, the leaves have fallen, the tropicals are in the greenhouse and the lawn has had its last cut. Now is the time to put away your garden power tools for winter. But in the urge to store everything, a big mistake can be made […]


The Secret World of Ferns—British fern expert Martin Rickard names five favorites for US gardens

Recently, I was invited to hike in the Oregon woods with a group of fern enthusiasts—several from the UK. The group was on a three-week botanizing road trip throughout the Northwest. When I caught up with them, they were picnicking trailside in a park near my house and talking Latin. Every other word was a […]


Conservatory cheer for November doldrums

If you’re lucky enough to have a big conservatory—and it isn’t too crowded with plants—you have a lovely setting for a holiday party. If it’s warm enough to overwinter houseplants, the glasshouse will be comfortable for people. And wouldn’t it be lovely for your guests to watch snowflakes fall from inside the glass? You’re probably […]

Dahlias – the new “IT” Flower – Preparing for Winter

Dahlias, with their brilliant-colored flowers in a variety of sizes and styles, are relatively easy to grow, but there are important tips to dahlia care, starting with how the tubers are harvested in fall. Dahlia tubers, from which new plants grow, cannot survive the winter outdoors in cold climates. They must be taken out of […]

Thanksgiving 2015 Competition: Win a Beautiful Peterboro Drum Cooler!

Please note: this giveaway has now ended. Thank you to all who entered, and well done to Chase Darnall – our winner. What are your plans for celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Here at Hartley Botanic it is one of our favorite times of the year, and so we decided it was a great time to launch […]


Grow Your Own Avocado – A perfect winter greenhouse project

Most of us have tried to grow an avocado (Persea americana) tree from seed. Although an avocado plant can be grown in any large, indoor room, it’s also does well in a heated greenhouse. Both heat and humidity must be kept fairly high for an avocado tree to thrive. To grow an avocado from seed, […]

Waking up to a world with less water

Where would we be without water? I recently returned from California, where I got a sobering look at the possibilities. The drought there is a wakeup call for all of us—even in places like Chicago or the East Coast that aren’t suffering right now—to think hard about how we use this precious resource. There are […]