Hartley Magazine

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

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– […]


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 […]

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 […]


Jacqueline van der Kloet — A Way with Bulbs

Although her first love was painting, Jacqueline van der Kloet seems to have made her peace with the medium her parents thought more practical—garden design. Her remarkable gardens both private and public throughout Europe, and in recent years, several highly visible U.S. gardens, including Millenium Park in Chicago and Battery Park in NYC, are testaments […]

A Passion for Parks in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Peterborough, New Hampshire, is one fortunate town. Between the Contookuk River and Nubanusit Brook, it was a thriving mill town in the nineteenth century. The home of the MacDowell Colony (the first artist’s colony in the country) since 1907, the town is thought to have been the model for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, which he […]


Blowing in the Wind

Windswept at the Berkshire Botanical Garden On the grounds of one of the oldest botanic gardens in the country, an exhibit that interacts with breezes large and small welcomes garden visitors this summer. Windswept is as multifaceted as the garden itself, which is located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on fifteen cultivated acres and includes three greenhouses. […]

Worth Their Salt – A Modern Saltworks

Not Everything made in a greenhouse is plant related. We may all brainstorm for great business ideas from time to time, but how many of us actually make one of them a reality? Penny Lewis and Jan Burling –friends for over 35 years from Cape Cod, Massachusetts were having lunch together when they thought of […]


Home on the Hudson

Not long after she married financier and philanthropist Ogden Mills in 1882, Ruth Livingston inherited her childhood home in Staatsburg, New York.  With views of the Catskill Mountains, the house at Staatsburg perches over sweeping lawns that stop just short of the Hudson River. The Livingston family had been prominent landowners in the Hudson Valley […]


Helena Rutherford Ely, Meadowburn farm in Vernon, New Jersey

Located precisely on the dividing line between the states of New York and New Jersey is a greenhouse and gardens that helped shape American garden history. It is the garden of Helena Rutherford Ely at Meadowburn farm in Vernon, New Jersey. She was the much celebrated author of A Woman’s Hardy Garden, first published in […]


History Under Glass

The very first glasshouses were not entirely made of glass. That is, their construction did not entail four walls that consisted primarily of glass. But they were surprisingly large, and designed for a specific purpose—the storage of container-grown citrus trees in winter. In Italy these “limonaia” (related to the “orangerie” later developed in France) had […]


In the Pink –Spring’s Arrival in New England

As part of an annual tradition at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, rooted ivy cuttings are distributed to each incoming first year student–just one indicator of the botanic leanings of this prestigious women’s college. With late winter’s days lengthening, Smith’s Lyman Conservatory– one of the few remaining plant conservatories in the United States built in […]