Hartley Magazine

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

Conservatory gardening for modern life

Living in a house built in 1958, the design of which borrows heavily from California architect, Cliff May, I am only too aware that a glasshouse structure suited to mid-century modern style needs to be spare in form and more committed to defining architectural space than serving as a decorative ornament. Having gone through several […]

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 […]

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 […]

Conservatory Glazing: an arts and crafts approach

Stained glass windows have been around a good deal longer than conservatories, yet it would seem that the two have something to offer each other. Wafting around the National Botanic Garden of Ireland in September, I was fulfilling a bucket list item; I’d long known about but never visited the graceful Curvilinear Range and its […]

Bonsai in Glasshouses

Phillip Johnson’s “Glasshouse” in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the icons of mid-century modern architecture. Steel-framed and glass-walled (hence its popular name) it seamlessly blends indoors and outdoors. It’s sophisticated simplicity has been the pattern for much early-21st century design. The photograph below, from my book, The Midcentury Modern Landscape,  shows a Johnson-inspired modernist […]

Mulch, Mulches, Mulching.

Mulch: the magic M-word that every gardener should know and practice, in the garden and even in the conservatory. Why mulch? Some may think that mulch is just cosmetic, improving the looks of a garden. That it does, but it’s main attraction is far more complex­­—and interactive set of attributes that keep the garden looking […]

Trending Now: Slow Bouquets and Floral Language.

Who watched the Royal Wedding? Who felt a tear in their eye as we learned that Meghan Markle’s simple-bunch bouquet contained flowers that were favorites of Princess Diana, picked – and here’s the kicker – in the castle garden by Prince Harry? Now that is saying something! Flowers have long had all sorts of symbolic […]

The Scented Garden for Indoors and Out

A conservatory or greenhouse can be a heavenly – and heavily – scented environment when crammed full with perfumed flowers like jasmine, citrus, and countless other plants that hold fragrance in their petals and foliage. Pot pourri is an amalgam of plant parts preserved by drying and blending that will conserve the scent of garden […]