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At Hartley Botanic we have a good relationship with many knowledgeable garden writers both in the UK and USA – here you can enjoy reading their articles and gardening tips

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Cold Hardy Cactus: Opuntia with punch!

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, […]

Historic Gardens—What the past tells us about today—and tomorrow

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 […]

Plants Need Secondary Macronutrients Too

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. […]

An expensive bargain: cheap potting mix

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 […]

Cold-hardy cactus for extreme gardening

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, […]

Share a Plant, Create Community—Dina Russell has a vision

How would you like to meet more of your neighbors, celebrate the bounty of your garden, forge new friendships on common ground, and strengthen your community ties? Dina Russell, gardener and founder of PlantShare®, believes plants can help you do all of that. “Think about it—the development of the original human society was created by […]

Fertilizing Greenhouse Plants

Because potting mediums rarely provide enough nutrients for long-term growth, most greenhouse plants need fertilization. Plants three main macronutrients (those needed in relatively large amounts) are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). On the fertilizer package, the proportion of each is given by a numerical ratio, with the order always being N to P […]

People and Glasshouses

Glasshouses have long been pivotal to advances in architectural engineering, marrying old traditions with the new technological advances. For example, The Palm House, the centerpiece of the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, opened in 1848 as a repository of the world’s plant diversity flooding in from all corners of the Empire and beyond. In 1851, Queen […]

Fabulous Plants Depend on Great Dirt

A plant’s performance is often tied to the quality of the soil it’s growing in. According to Elizabeth Murphy, soil scientist, gardener, and author of Building Soil—A Down to Earth Approach, certain steps can be taken to modify garden soil. But what about purchased potting mixes that are the mainstay of containers, raised beds, and, […]