Part of the delight in growing hardy cactus, for me anyway, comes in not having to move pot-grown specimens into the conservatory as the temperature drops. The hardy sorts of opuntia (aka prickly pear cactus) are especially attractive and common throughout the intermountain and prairie regions of the West. Opuntia aurea, hardy from Zone 5-10, […]
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It’s time to fall in love with snails. Jean Vernon unravels some of the myths and magic regarding these creatures Snails? What good are they? I hear you ask? Well you might be very surprised what different roles these unassuming characters play not just in your garden but in the greater environment too. Food stuff […]
I love the feeling of time travel that comes with visiting restored gardens. One of my favorites is Aspet—a garden designed around the home of artist and sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). The 30-acre garden and 200-acre grounds are now a National Historical Park in New Hampshire. When I visit gardens like this, one question always […]
Indian Shot or Cannas are happiest in frost free greenhouses or a conservatory, they can even go outside all summer. But their lush foliage and incandescent blooms look better for longer under cover where their tropical appearance also seems more appropriate. Found in almost all frost free parts of the world the Cannas are possibly […]
This year, we have been thrilled to sponsor the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) School Gardeners of the Year competition. The competition shines a light on the many benefits of school gardening, from learning to improved health and wellbeing and, today, the winners have been announced! We will be awarding the competition’s main winners Hartley Botanic […]
July is a busy time in the greenhouse, not just for maintenance but sowing and harvesting, too. Maintain a regular regime of feeding and watering with tepid water. Find out if your containerised plants need watering by sticking your finger into the surface of the compost, if your finger is free of compost particles when […]
You fill a watering can with dissolved fertilizer and start feeding your greenhouse plants. But do you know exactly what’s in the solution you’re using? Most greenhouse owners know that plants require nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These are the primary macronutrients, the word “macro” referring to nutrients needed in relatively large amounts. […]
I like this time of year in the greenhouse. I find the rush of spring almost overwhelming and hate that feeling that I’m never quite keeping up with everything – that mad dash to get everything sown and into pots and then into the ground in time to take advantage of our always-too-short season keeps […]
In life and gardening, we all make mistakes—sometimes, even when we know better. My big mistake this year (so far) was buying cheap potting mix. I understand perfectly well how important the quality of potting mix is to container plants in greenhouses, in the house, and outdoors. I know that the mix must be light […]
The best thing about having a Hartley greenhouse, especially in the sort of summer we seem to be having, is that you can get away from the weather. This year my peonies were washed away in mid-June and then my roses took a real battering at the end of the month. In fact I’ve never […]
Every garden I’ve visited has taught me something new. Be it a tropical conservatory that reveals an exotic plant I’d never before seen, or a hard-working greenhouse that tutors me in a growing technique to raise better plants, it all makes for a smarter garden and gardener. For example, at Hunting Brook garden in Ireland, […]
If you want to do something that will make a big difference to the environment, plant trees says Jean Vernon Trees are the lungs of the planet. During the day they use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a process called photosynthesis that makes sugars to fuel their growth and produces oxygen. It’s a phenomenal […]