Hartley Magazine

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

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 […]

Written in United Kingdom

In & Out, safer in containers

Greenhouses will soon become even more invaluable for gardeners by helping them cope with climate change. We don’t know how bad things may become, however for certain our weather’s becoming more extreme, and more unpredictable. Our traditional gardening calendar’s unreliable with some current crops becoming more risky out of doors. However under cover we already […]

Written in United Kingdom

Achimenes, Hot-water plants

A glasshouse gem often seen on a kitchen window sill is the Hot-water plant with its long flowering display of pastel trumpet blooms. Related to Gloxinias several dozen species were introduced from Central America in the late 18C early 19C. These were tropical plants requiring hot house conditions and were soon hybridised to be more […]

Written in United Kingdom

Last flower from a lost tribe!

If you were a greenhouse gardener one hundred and fifty years ago you could have been growing twenty seven different species of the beautiful Spider flower. Listed in Paxton’s Botanical Dictionary as Cleome with another eight registered under the apparently near synonymous Gynandropsis there were three dozen or more available. Seventy five years ago Roy […]