Hartley Magazine

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

Starter Gardens

Succulent plants are ideal for first-time gardeners and suited to growing outdoors in mild, low-rainfall, frost-free climates, or in cold, damp regions, in conservatories or just a sunny window. Succulents are those fleshy-leaved plants that thrive in well-drained soil in hot, dry, steppe to desert-like climates. They are not frost-hardy, like plenty of sun, and […]

Purple, white and orange flower

Celebrating the Classics

German bearded irises are ideally suited to dry conditions in bright sun; they’re easy-to-grow perennials, with a fleeting but fabulous early-summer blossom time. Each May for the past few years, I accompany my best-beloved to MahlerFest, held at the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado. It’s taken me a more than a moment to […]


Eastern European ways with rock garden design have changed how we garden with alpines. Once upon a time, the alpine glasshouses at RHS Wisley, the famed display gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, south of London left me in speechless awe.  It was like visiting an art gallery: Nano-tufts of rare aubretia, doll-sized clumps of […]

On Being Waterwise

California gardeners are in the phalanx of water conservationists who are working to stem the effects of drought in the Golden State. While we gardeners in Colorado are just a little excited that the state’s legislature has finally spiked the law against the residential collection of rainwater, which served to resuscitate heated discussions about rainfall and […]

How Green is Your Valley?

Water conservation and water-saving garden solutions have a creative edge in the Coachella Valley of south California, and in Palm Springs sheets of glass reflecting sheets of water give a refreshing fresh sparkle to arid gardens. Three months and two trips to California, from one destination south, to one north (which you can read about […]

Glass revolution! By Ethne Clarke

Glasshouses, conservatories, and the mid-century modern enclaves of Palm Springs owe much to the invention of plate glass. Glass windows have been with us since at least the 3rd century CE, but they were dim little shards held together by lead seams, fracturing and distorting the view, but letting in more light than a sheet […]


Step into Steppes by Ethne Clarke

The semi-arid steppes of the world can teach us ways to conserve water in our gardens and create sustainable landscapes. This year the North American Rock Garden Society, aka NARGS, is holding its annual general meeting in Colorado, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Kicking off at the Denver Botanic Garden, it then moves to […]