Hartley Magazine

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

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 […]

Midcentury Modern Plants and Gardens

The Mid-Century Modern Landscape is the title of my recent book. It’s rather misleading because it’s about gardens: I’m old school and I think of landscape as the natural surroundings in which we build or shape our dreams: The Parthenon is set in a dramatic landscape; my greenhouse is part of my garden. Oh, well, […]

Slow water, fast.

High elevations and low waterfall mean gardening in the southwest depends a lot on what you might call “mechanical intervention”; glasshouses and tunnels for season extension and irrigation to compensate for shortages are the chief tools at the gardener’s disposal. Developed by the ancient Romans, adapted by the Moors in pre-Christian Spain, aqueducts fed water […]

Midcentury Modern Living and Glasshouse Style

Glasshouse and conservatory construction have come a long way since the days of ancient Rome, when Pliny the Elder wrote about the Emperor Tiberius’s love of cucumbers. Such was the regal passion for the vegetable that he had, as Pliny described, “raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the cucumbers were […]