Hartley Magazine

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

Eat Your Ornamentals—Garden author Ellen Zachos shows how

It’s great to attend a garden talk and be surprised. That’s what Ellen Zachos did for me at Seattle’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Ellen is an author whose books include Backyard Foraging. Her show presentation covered a huge selection of garden plants that blend both ornamental and edible attributes. The surprise? Half her picks […]

Fabulous Foliage—Putting the Greenery in Greenhouse

We share a commonality with bees and butterflies. We are all drawn to flowers. As gardeners we grow them, admire them, and arrange them, both outdoors and in the greenhouse. But, often, we tend to overlook what accompanies that panoply of colors—the foliage. Now Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz have written an eye-opening new book, […]

Indoors and Out—Best Plants for the Seasonal Dance

Some favored container plants luxuriate outside all summer, and when the weather shifts, they’re hustled into the greenhouse, frost-free porch, sunroom, or even a windowsill. These summer/winter dancers are mostly perennials or small shrubs— tender for whatever zone you’re in. What makes them worth the trouble? Outside or indoors, the best ones are easy care. […]

Gifts for Gardeners—Don’t Overlook These!

My favorite gardener’s present? A friend received a load of well-rotted manure, dumped on a tarp in her driveway with a huge red bow on top. It was accompanied by a note from her husband promising to spread it on the nearby beds. (He followed through.) Short of that loving extravagance, here are three great […]

Colorful Edible Flowers Add Zest to Festive Meals

A few years ago, a major lifestyle magazine—which I won’t name—featured a glistening Thanksgiving turkey on the cover. Decorative berries and leaves were tucked around the bird. How luscious. Not. Turns out the decorations were toxic to humans. The retraction was swift. No readers ate the fixings. But if the magazine crew had checked with […]

Shrubbery—Plants That Work More, So You Work Less

Years ago, as a beginning gardener, I visited a British friend in northern California. Her country garden surrounded her house, a symphony of color and texture. I knew she took care of it herself. What was her secret? She leaned toward me, and in her terrific accent whispered, “Shrubbery.” I’ve never forgotten. Now, any time […]

Wait for It—Fabulous Plants You Can’t Buy Now

Every year I look forward to my end-of-summer treat—seeing the plant selections in the New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest trade show in Portland, Oregon. These are the glorious newcomers, sold to wholesalers who will grow them on in greenhouses, and bring them to market next year. Here’s a look at the “oh wow!” plants […]

The Greenhouse Floats on Water—water and glass, a winning combination

This May was a season of firsts. It was my first time attending the fabled Chelsea Flower Show in London. And it was Hartley-Botanic’s first time building a display garden on the Main Avenue. I met up on Press Day with Catherine MacDonald, the garden’s award-winning designer. She invited me to experience their magical woodland […]

Stop-Time in the Greenhouse—C.L. Fornari suggests a celebration among your plants

A wise friend once shared the secret for taking time-crunch stress out of daily living—create a transition space between endeavors. End one thing. Then stop. It could be for five minutes, or fifteen, or even an hour. After that, begin the next task. That transition time is exactly what award-winning author C.L. Fornari is talking […]


Attract Pollinators to your Garden—Ed Hume tells what the good bugs need

When it comes to fruit and flower production, pollinating insects are major players. The act of pollination inside a greenhouse may require the introduction of bumble bees or the use of equipment that mimics the bees’ wing vibrations. However, outside in your garden you can attract pollinating insects by simply growing the plants that will […]

Succulents – the new “in plants” for drought regions

Succulents, even those that won’t grow in colder climates, make great candidates for a greenhouse, sunroom, or even a sunny windowsill. My collection doesn’t seem to mind the dry indoor air or erratic watering. And my admiration for these low-water high-drama plants is shared by a lot of people—especially in coastal areas of California, where […]