Hartley Magazine

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

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Bouquets that Give Twice – Riz Reyes’ innovative floral arrangements live on for years

Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. It’s a popular mantra, but would it work for that most ephemeral of endeavors—a bouquet of flowers? Northwest horticulturalist Riz Reyes thinks so. He adds succulents and other structural perennials like tillandsia (air plants) to his floral designs. When the flowers fade, the cuttings can be rooted in a well-draining medium. Air plants […]

Violet Capital of the World

For nearly one hundred years–between the 1880’s and the 1960’s a stretch of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York was known as the “Violet Capital of the World.” Herb Saltford recounted that it was his grandfather, William Saltford– head gardener at several estates in England before the family moved to Hyde Park, New York– […]

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It’s That Wonderful Time of Year

Snow covers the garden, and spring is nowhere in sight, so it’s time for that perennial pleasure—perusing the stack of seed catalogs that’s been piling up since November. Interesting trends in vegetable gardening emerge in this year’s catalogs. If you plan to grow tomatoes, 2015 promises intriguing choices; breeders have been busy creating new combinations […]

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Unusual Edibles to Start in your Greenhouse Right Now

February is the time to give cool-season vegetables a jumpstart by sowing seeds in a greenhouse. You could also put seed trays under lights in a frost-free garage or a back porch, or even on a sunny windowsill that’s not too warm. In addition to the traditional ones—cabbage, broccoli, peas, lettuce, and cauliflower—it’s worth considering […]

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A cold frame gives you a jump on the growing season

The weather report may still be full of blizzards, but once Ground Hog Day rolls around, springtime becomes less of a memory and more of a prospect. That’s when it’s worth thinking about buying or building a cold frame to get a jump on the growing season. A cold frame is a low box with […]

The Founding Vegetable Gardener

  At a White House Dinner that gathered world leaders early in his tenure, President Kennedy quipped that those assembled represented the “greatest meeting of minds since Thomas Jefferson had dinner in the White House here by himself.” What’s impressive about Thomas Jefferson’s intelligence is that it wasn’t limited by matters political or philosophical. Jefferson’s […]

The Ultimate Vegetable Space-Saver—Double-crop Tomatoes and Potatoes on One Plant

Grafted trees with more than one kind of fruit are a classic way to maximize yield in small backyards. Now, to celebrate the beginning of 2015, here’s a different two-for-one—supersweet cherry tomatoes grafted onto a rootstock that features a crop of potatoes. It’s all one plant called Ketchup ‘n’ Fries™ by TomTato.® I talked with […]

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From Lace collars to muddy boots, greenhouses in history

I’ve been running into a lot of glasshouses in my midwinter reading. I just finished reading up about Edward VII, son of Prince Albert, who dazzled the world with the Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Albert was a better exhibition organizer than he was a father, but the book reminded me what a remarkable […]