Hartley Magazine

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

Written in United Kingdom

Commelina, Blue Spider-wort, Day-flower

With gorgeous sky blue flowers all of summer the Blue Spider-wort is an ideal plant for a cool greenhouse. True it’s a tad lax and can flop if not supported and the waist high stems of lanceolate leaves are not exactly stunning. However continuous displays of gentian blue flowers redeems all. As these lovely blooms […]

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The bells, the bells… Campanulas

As often found in an alpine house as a greenhouse many Bellflowers, Campanulas, are rock garden and border plants. However some low growing and prostrate species are delightful under cover for filling in around the base of taller plants with their verdant foliage and masses of cool blue flowers. Campanula is an interesting, floriferous and […]

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Common & uncommonly good

Lobelia is a world-wide genus of uncommonly good glasshouse flowers, indeed almost every member of this large genus has attractive blooms, often coming in masses, usually in a shade of blue. Lobelia has shrubby, evergreen and herbaceous members, annuals, biennials and perennials, there are even a few hardy sorts for the outdoor garden. However the […]

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Named after ashes this is not at all dull

Some plants, and oddly rather many glasshouse plants, have somewhat misleading common names. This gem has perversely come to be known as Cineraria though it is not a Cineraria but a Senecio. Cinerarias are so named for their soft white downy leaves like cineres the Latin for ashes. Some Senecios also have white or grey […]

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Not Tyranosaurus but Begonia

I have written before of the tremendous value in our greenhouses from the Begonia tribe though I was mostly talking about their huge range of floral varieties. Now I am waxing even more enthusiastically about the foliage varieties of Begonia particularly B. Rex-cultorum. Rex is a term not often employed in botanical Latin and as […]

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The sound of rubbing stems and Dove’s dung

Amongst the benefits a glasshouse offers can be year round flowers for cutting. Cut flowers are more expensive to purchase than most fruits and vegetables so really deserve some attention. And one of the best cut flowers for sheer endurance once cut is the Chincherinchee. Ornithogalum thyrsoides is a bulbous plant of the Lily family […]

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The tastiest fruit in the world?

You need a greenhouse to crop Feijoas though not to grow these as ornamental evergreen shrubs. For these are fairly hardy, tougher than thought. I’ve had a couple surviving outdoors here in Norfolk for twenty plus years which have never fruited. First introduced from S. America in 1898 these are found in Botanic gardens though […]

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Perfect plant for Dinosaur garden

Often your glasshouse or conservatory collection will have a theme be it edible, scented or just all orange flowers. I have had several queries recently on plants typical of when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.  An interesting question as if you want actual survivors from that period then the selection is rather limited and of course contains […]

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Chilean Butterfly flowers

Also known as Fringe flowers and Poor man’s orchids Schizanthus are a glorious way of filling a glasshouse with summer colour. Coming from S. America this small genus related to potatoes derives both common and scientific names from pretty pansy like blooms. These have split corollas and look much like orchids, and even more like […]