Hartley Magazine

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

Thinking Spring…ALREADY? Award-Winning New Plants

It’s always fun to grow at least one plant that makes visitors ask, “What is THAT?” Right now the horticulture trade is deciding which new offerings will appear in your retail garden center next spring, or in the seasons to come. This year I got to play a part in that process. I was one […]

Growing Tropical Herbs

Tropical herbs need warm temperatures to keep growing year round, making them perfect plants for a greenhouse that’s heated during winter. I grow ginger, galangal, and lemon grass in my winter-heated greenhouse and use them to make delicious Thai food. Here’s how to cultivate each of them. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) There are several different types […]

Getting to know Perennial Greenhouse Herbs

For the home cook there is nothing lovelier than sprinkling chopped fresh oregano and basil onto a pizza or putting a fresh bay leaf in a winter stew and sprinkling chopped parsley over the top when serving it. Many home cooks over-winter herbs in pots on a sunny window sill, but as low light levels […]

Bob Lilly talks about gardening on a houseboat

Bob Lily gardens on water. This Seattle horticulturalist, plantsman, and designer extraordinaire has lived on a houseboat in Lake Union, since the 1970s. His shake-shingled dwelling disappears under a cascade of greenery—with everything grown in containers. And his diverse plant collections also adorn six other nearby houseboats. This month, I asked him for ideas and […]

What Shall We Grow? Decisions that must happen before winter.

An empty greenhouse stands beckoning in your yard, waiting to be stocked with plants, but you aren’t sure what plants to choose. Don’t allow yourself to go into “brain freeze”. Starting asking questions: Do you fill your greenhouse with orchids, other flowering plants, fruiting vines, cactuses, herbs, vegetables, or even small fruit trees? There are […]

Reading, writing and gardening – Back to School

August is back-to-school time. For an increasing number of children, school will involve gardening. But they need the help of experienced gardeners—especially those who know what to do with a cold frame. School gardens are one kind of volunteer project that Master Gardener volunteers like me often help with. Experience has shown that there’s a […]

Hand Watering and a Kink-free Hose

In this year of epic drought in the West, conscientious gardeners collect dish-washing rinse water for their plants. They take showers with buckets around their feet to catch any excess. And in many communities, if they use a hose, gardeners are mandated to deliver water by hand. Statistics show that hand irrigation can be more […]


Starting seeds is a year round activity in a greenhouse

To harvest winter crops in your greenhouse, starting seeds soon is a must. How do you choose the best pot in which to start seeds? Do you use a seed flat? A seed flat with an insert? A square pot? Round pots? Jiffy pots? There is a huge choice of pots and pot materials available […]