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 […]