Hartley Magazine

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


Clivia in the Greenhouse

Europeans discovered clivias in Cape Province, South Africa, in 1815, and soon after some of the plants were taken to England. The Duchess of Northumbria, Lady Charlotte Percy (nee Clive) first succeeded in getting them to flower there, so the genus was called Clivia in her honor. Although more than 1,000 clivia cultivars and hybrids […]


Repotting Oriental Lilies – a project for those late Fall rainy days.

I was digging over a garden bed last week and dug out several Oriental lily bulbs. When you dig out “oriental” or “Asian” lilies, be sure to use a garden fork, not a spade. A spade will slice into the bulbs. These had not been dug for five or six years so it was time […]

Save yourself hassle: Prepare Power Tools for Winter Storage

It’s late fall, and the outdoor flowers are parched with frost, the leaves have fallen, the tropicals are in the greenhouse and the lawn has had its last cut. Now is the time to put away your garden power tools for winter. But in the urge to store everything, a big mistake can be made […]

Dahlias – the new “IT” Flower – Preparing for Winter

Dahlias, with their brilliant-colored flowers in a variety of sizes and styles, are relatively easy to grow, but there are important tips to dahlia care, starting with how the tubers are harvested in fall. Dahlia tubers, from which new plants grow, cannot survive the winter outdoors in cold climates. They must be taken out of […]


Grow Your Own Avocado – A perfect winter greenhouse project

Most of us have tried to grow an avocado (Persea americana) tree from seed. Although an avocado plant can be grown in any large, indoor room, it’s also does well in a heated greenhouse. Both heat and humidity must be kept fairly high for an avocado tree to thrive. To grow an avocado from seed, […]

Growing Tropical Herbs

Tropical herbs need warm temperatures to keep growing year round, making them perfect plants for a greenhouse that’s heated during winter. I grow ginger, galangal, and lemon grass in my winter-heated greenhouse and use them to make delicious Thai food. Here’s how to cultivate each of them. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) There are several different types […]

Getting to know Perennial Greenhouse Herbs

For the home cook there is nothing lovelier than sprinkling chopped fresh oregano and basil onto a pizza or putting a fresh bay leaf in a winter stew and sprinkling chopped parsley over the top when serving it. Many home cooks over-winter herbs in pots on a sunny window sill, but as low light levels […]

What Shall We Grow? Decisions that must happen before winter.

An empty greenhouse stands beckoning in your yard, waiting to be stocked with plants, but you aren’t sure what plants to choose. Don’t allow yourself to go into “brain freeze”. Starting asking questions: Do you fill your greenhouse with orchids, other flowering plants, fruiting vines, cactuses, herbs, vegetables, or even small fruit trees? There are […]


Starting seeds is a year round activity in a greenhouse

To harvest winter crops in your greenhouse, starting seeds soon is a must. How do you choose the best pot in which to start seeds? Do you use a seed flat? A seed flat with an insert? A square pot? Round pots? Jiffy pots? There is a huge choice of pots and pot materials available […]

Cautionary tale about greenhouse pests – Ticks and Lyme Disease

The doctor said that nobody gets Lyme Disease in December! I did and figured that I picked up the tick in my greenhouse! I wasn’t checking for it because it was, after all, December. But I had seen a mouse in the greenhouse a month or so before the incident. I figured it came in […]