Hartley Magazine

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

Highlights of the Philadelphia Flower Show

The weather forecast was foreboding, with the third major winter storm in two weeks about to hit the northeast. But the blinding snow and lashing winds that my Amtrak train hurtled through on its way to Philadelphia belied the beautiful, springtime ambiance awaiting me inside the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show. This premier horticultural event, presented […]

Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, MA

This spring I visited Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, to see the rhododendrons in bloom. These 100 acres were formerly the estate of Charles Dexter, who, beginning in 1921, spent years propagating and raising thousands of rhododendrons.  He gave many to friends and neighbors without keeping records of these gifts, which is why new Dexter […]

Written in Ireland

Mandevilla Care

Mandevilla is a genus of flowering vines with showy, trumpet-shaped blossoms in various vibrant colors, making them highly popular for patios and decks.  In cold climates, however, they must be brought indoors for winter. Fortunately, a greenhouse is an ideal winter haven for Mandevillas as long as the temperature there stays above 50˚F. Before bringing […]

Grow Your Own Turmeric

The much publicized health benefits of turmeric, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, have made it a popular addition to everything from lattes to smoothies to teas. Although fresh turmeric tubers have been said to have more potent health benefits than the powdered turmeric sold in grocery stores, a small bag of them can cost upwards […]

Growing Cape Primrose

Cape Primrose, or Streptocarpus, is a genus of beautiful flowering plants that contains numerous species, most of which are easily grown in a heated greenhouse. These plants superficially resemble those of the genus Primula but are not related to them. In many ways, the five-petalled Cape Primrose flowers remind me of orchids. Each has somewhat […]

Make Your Own Hanging Baskets

As a greenhouse owner, you can easily make your own hanging baskets rather than buying them at a nursery. If you start your basket plantings in late winter, they’ll be large, lush, and ready to put outdoors after Jack Frost has quit for the season. I prefer very large, 20”-diameter, peat-lined containers for my hanging […]

Add Hydroponics to Your Greenhouse

For a number of years, I’ve grown lettuce in plastic gutters in my greenhouse. The installation is simple: Each ten-foot-long gutter hangs from brackets on a greenhouse wall, with one end four inches lower than the other. I fill the gutters with clay pellets to give the plant roots something to grip. A fish-tank pump […]

Michele Keith’s Greenhouse – in Chilly Wyoming

I talked with Michele Keith about her greenhouse in Wyoming. Michele’s property, which is close to the eastern edge of Yellowstone, is 6,000 feet above sea level and in hardiness zone 4, so it gets very cold in winter. She had 36” of snowfall a week or so before our talk. But cold is not […]

Growing Bananas in a Greenhouse

Bananas are native to Southeast Asia, so growing them in northern climates is a challenge. When I first tried growing bananas in my Rhode Island greenhouse, I kept the greenhouse warm all winter, knowing that bananas prefer temperatures over 77o F (26oC) year round. After three or four seasons and a lot of money spent […]

Christmas in a tropical like Greenhouse

There is something magical about Christmas in a greenhouse. Paperwhites are in full bloom, mixed with rich red poinsettias against a backdrop of greenery. To me, white, red, and green are the colors of Christmas, so a greenhouse is ideal for celebrating this season. For those who aren’t big fans of paperwhites’ classic fragrance, there […]

Growing Agapanthus (African Lily) Where Winters Are Cold

Species of the genus Agapanthus (sometimes commonly called African lilies) are favorite perennials in many parts of the world where winters remain mild. In these regions (hardiness zones 9 to 11), all these plants need to give a long-lasting display of beautiful blue, purple, or white flowers is moist, well-drained soil and plenty of sun. […]