Hartley Magazine

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

Written in United Kingdom

Chocolate Daisy

In my last piece I described a greenhouse gem; the chocolate scented Cosmos, which I also noted was not exactly one of the neatest looking shrubs. Oddly, another powerfully chocolate scented flower, Berlandiera lyrata, also comes as an unruly small shrub. There’s little obvious similarity in these even though they’re both in the family Asteraceae, […]

Written in United Kingdom

Heat your Greenhouse efficiently

Ventilate the Greenhouse on warm days but reduce this when temperatures drop later in the month and the amount of shading, so crops ripen and to avoid problems with grey mould caused by damp air and cooler nights. Before bringing plants in for overwintering check them for pests and diseases, and treat accordingly. Red spider […]

Written in United Kingdom

Earth, Wind and Fire – all in one year!

Gardeners are used to battling the elements, but 2022 has been a catastrophic event. It began with an ‘I’m-not-going-to-grow-for-you-at-the-moment’ dry winter and cool spring. That was followed by extreme heat and strong Saharan winds, so most people’s gardens (including mine) turned into a sea of brown. One evening I sat and watched as hummingbird-hawk moths […]

Written in United Kingdom

Chocolate Cosmos

I doubt anyone entering your glasshouse will gasp “What a gorgeous specimen” when their eyes glance upon Cosmos atrosanguineus Chocamocha. Admittedly this is an undistinguished leaved scantily flowering almost scruffy looking plant you’d not look twice at. However once their noses catch the delicious vanilla and hot chocolate scent they will be entranced. Then as […]

Written in United Kingdom

Lots to harvest and things to sow

It’s time to sow Fennel, oriental vegetables like mizuna greens and Pak Choi, rocket, coriander dill, spinach, claytonia and land cress in modules as soon as you can. These will germinate quickly and can be planted out by mid-August for cropping in autumn. Continue sowing ‘cut and come again’ crops like mixed herbs, in pots, […]

Written in United Kingdom

Adding sparkle in midsummer

Gardening is satisfying in so many ways and it develops some desirable personality traits – such as generosity, patience and perseverance – although some would say I’m a work in progress! You’re likely to be in tune with nature, if you garden, and that helps your humility because most gardeners realise that they’re not in […]

Written in United Kingdom

Scented Pelargoniums

My scented pelargoniums have long been released from the greenhouse and are beginning to look their leafy best now, and producing their myriad scents in abundance: cinnamon, lemon, peppermint, spice, cola, and more. These plants are closely related to the bedding pelargoniums that we all plant in terracotta pots and hanging baskets to flower through […]