Hartley Magazine

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

Lessons Plants Have Taught Me

Each month in this “Rooting for You” column, I seek out experts on some aspect of gardening. But this time I’m turning to a different authority—the plants themselves. Plants are good teachers. They give you quick feedback—are their needs met or not? They’re excellent storytellers—you can see the history of a tree by the scars […]

A Plant’s Not Dead Until It’s Warm and Dead—John Fischer shares his observations

We gardeners all rely on the common wisdom passed along through books, magazines, blogs, or the neighbor down the street. However, John Fischer, a retired meteorologist, Master Gardener, and garden writer, offers this—make your own observations. Throughout his career as a television meteorologist, John always tied together the weather and gardening. When horticulture questions arose, […]

Secrets for Making Cut Flowers Last Longer – volunteers with Random Acts of Flowers know how

At this year’s San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, a colorful bounty of bouquets stopped me in my tracks. Now that’s not unusual for me at a flower show, but this booth was different. The space was stacked high with countless containers of flowers under a huge sign—“Random Acts of Flowers.” What is that? I […]

Peonies Now and Forever—Every garden deserves a king

It’s time for flower festivals! These once-a-year celebrations allow gardeners to pick up rare and unusual plants, just at the moment when they really look good. And here comes the Peony and Bamboo Festival, on April 22 and 23, at the Seattle Chinese Garden. This month I’m talking with Phil Wood, owner of Phil Wood […]

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 […]