Hartley Magazine

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

Instant Privacy Hedges—Now You Can Buy Time

Recently, while walking through the aisles of the Independent Garden Center trade show in Chicago, I discovered a product I’d never seen before—containerized hedges. A row of neatly sheared plants outlined the booth. Clearly, they were field-grown and root pruned, their branches naturally intermingling. It was a living privacy wall you could buy. It would […]

Bonsai in Glasshouses

Phillip Johnson’s “Glasshouse” in New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the icons of mid-century modern architecture. Steel-framed and glass-walled (hence its popular name) it seamlessly blends indoors and outdoors. It’s sophisticated simplicity has been the pattern for much early-21st century design. The photograph below, from my book, The Midcentury Modern Landscape,  shows a Johnson-inspired modernist […]

From Acer to Zelkova—New Small Trees Solve Big Problems

It’s that time of year when horticultural trade shows deliver the best and brightest for next year’s market. I was lucky enough to attend several, including the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago and the FarWest Show in Portland, Oregon. That’s where I met up with Nancy Buley, Communications Director of the wholesale company, J. […]

Gardens to Share—Portrait of a Gem Hidden in Plain View

This month I’m looking at what can happen when private gardeners take their passion public. Streissguth Gardens is a private/public enterprise that could be duplicated in neighborhoods all over the country. Recently, I went for an urban hike with friends on the east side of Seattle’s Lake Union. On Blaine Street, we arrived at a […]

Mulch, Mulches, Mulching.

Mulch: the magic M-word that every gardener should know and practice, in the garden and even in the conservatory. Why mulch? Some may think that mulch is just cosmetic, improving the looks of a garden. That it does, but it’s main attraction is far more complex­­—and interactive set of attributes that keep the garden looking […]

How to watch the weather

Gardeners have a different perspective on the weather than most people. We are cheered by July downpours and winter storms that spread insulating snow. We love cool, wet springs that lengthen bloom time, while other people are anxiously waiting for the year’s first shorts-and-T-shirt day. Stretches of hot summer days may delight children and beachgoers, […]

Window Cleaning and Maintenance

When summer arrives in Rhode Island, I move everything out of my greenhouse in preparation for a cleaning blitz, including window cleaning. It’s easy to clean the outside of the windows year-round because no plants are in the way. But when the greenhouse is full, cleaning the inside of the windows is difficult because access […]