Hartley Magazine

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

Is My Evergreen Dying? — Arborist Kevin Narbonne explains what to look for

On certain nights in January this year, more than ninety percent of the U.S. shivered with temperatures under 30 degrees F. Especially vulnerable were those plants with evergreen foliage. So what’s a gardener to do? If you couldn’t trundle susceptible plants into a greenhouse or other shelter when the cold hit, how do you help […]

Midcentury Modern Plants and Gardens

The Mid-Century Modern Landscape is the title of my recent book. It’s rather misleading because it’s about gardens: I’m old school and I think of landscape as the natural surroundings in which we build or shape our dreams: The Parthenon is set in a dramatic landscape; my greenhouse is part of my garden. Oh, well, […]

Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, MA

This spring I visited Heritage Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, to see the rhododendrons in bloom. These 100 acres were formerly the estate of Charles Dexter, who, beginning in 1921, spent years propagating and raising thousands of rhododendrons.  He gave many to friends and neighbors without keeping records of these gifts, which is why new Dexter […]

Trees have it figured out

We’re having some character-building weather in Chicago. The thermometer got all the way up to zero today (Fahrenheit—that’s 17.5 below zero for you centigrade folks). I was bumbling down a sidewalk wearing layers of leggings, multiple socks, gloves within mittens, and so much headgear I could hardly peer out. I passed a nonchalant tree, standing […]

Slow water, fast.

High elevations and low waterfall mean gardening in the southwest depends a lot on what you might call “mechanical intervention”; glasshouses and tunnels for season extension and irrigation to compensate for shortages are the chief tools at the gardener’s disposal. Developed by the ancient Romans, adapted by the Moors in pre-Christian Spain, aqueducts fed water […]

Fascine—An ancient hill holder for modern gardens

I love when I come across a new (to me) gardening term. I’d never heard the word fascine, until I talked with Vanessa Gardner Nagel, award-winning landscape designer and author. She mentioned she was building fascine to stabilize the slope in her Pacific Northwest ravine garden. A fascine, she explained, is a bundle of sticks […]

Gone fishing

One of the biggest trends in indoor gardening nowadays is hydroponics—growing plants indoors, usually under lights, with their roots in water that is enriched with fertilizer. This technique (fine-tuned in the last decades of the 20th century for the discreet production of marijuana) is now developing into a small but significant sector of agriculture. If […]

Written in Ireland

Mandevilla Care

Mandevilla is a genus of flowering vines with showy, trumpet-shaped blossoms in various vibrant colors, making them highly popular for patios and decks.  In cold climates, however, they must be brought indoors for winter. Fortunately, a greenhouse is an ideal winter haven for Mandevillas as long as the temperature there stays above 50˚F. Before bringing […]

Midcentury Modern Living and Glasshouse Style

Glasshouse and conservatory construction have come a long way since the days of ancient Rome, when Pliny the Elder wrote about the Emperor Tiberius’s love of cucumbers. Such was the regal passion for the vegetable that he had, as Pliny described, “raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the cucumbers were […]

Big Surprises in Small Packages

Small yet highly effective tools can be the perfect gift for the holidays. When garden space is tight—like inside a greenhouse—this collection of scaled-down products will be appreciated. Or, put these miniature offerings on your own wish list if someone needs a hint about your preferences. Cobrahead Mini Weeder – Folks who use the regular […]