Hartley Magazine

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

Written in United Kingdom

Feels less cold when it’s drier

Although none of us want to waste energy we’re also desperate not to lose our plants so then we may inadvertently set our thermostats rather high in order ‘to be safe’. Obviously we need to maintain a sufficiently high temperature so our greenhouse, i.e. not-hardy, plants do not sustain any damage. Now the old recommendations […]

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

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

Plumbago, not a pain but a flower

Not introduced into our greenhouses and conservatories till 1818 when it was brought from the Cape of Good Hope now known as South Africa. Leadwort, Plumbago, soon became very popular with Victorian gardeners. A lax climbing shrub this can bloom non-stop from the end of winter right through until winter returns again. Without doubt this […]

Written in United Kingdom

Black eyed Susan, a Texan revolver

A most rapidly growing, most floriferous, greenhouse climber Thunbergia alata, Black-eyed Susan was introduced at the start of Victoria’s reign. Many others in this genus also became popular in Hot-houses of the 19th century for their magnificent displays, and because most were relatively fast growing just wanting to bloom . Black-eyed Susan was ‘first’ found […]

Written in United Kingdom

Curcuma longa is NOT a cucumber!

Much vaunted for its health value and expensive to purchase Turmeric is the swollen root of Curcuma longa, a decorative greenhouse plant with large leaves. This flavourful colouring spice is grown in huge quantities in Asian countries for many dishes and it’s essential for Indian curries. Used since Classical times as the dried root or […]