Hartley Magazine

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

Written in United States

Conservatory gardening for modern life

Living in a house built in 1958, the design of which borrows heavily from California architect, Cliff May, I am only too aware that a glasshouse structure suited to mid-century modern style needs to be spare in form and more committed to defining architectural space than serving as a decorative ornament. Having gone through several […]

Written in United States

Immigrant Gardeners and Tastes of Home

Some years ago I wrote a book titled The Art of the Kitchen Garden about the evolution of fruit and vegetable growing and cookery from the 15th to the 18th century. Greenhouses evolved in part, I learned, from the introduction in the 17th century to Europe of the exotic pineapple, which quickly went from oddity […]

Written in United States

Conservatories and Conservation the Rancho Gordo Way

These days, more than ever, words matter. And in the realm of this column I got to wondering about the meaning of conservatory, which is more complex, it turns out, than the one for greenhouse. The latter is pretty much self-explanatory, a house where green things grow. But on turning to my copy of the […]

Written in United States

Conservatory Glazing: an arts and crafts approach

Stained glass windows have been around a good deal longer than conservatories, yet it would seem that the two have something to offer each other. Wafting around the National Botanic Garden of Ireland  in September I was fulfilling a bucket list item; I’d long known about but never visited the graceful Curvilinear Range and its […]

Written in United States

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 […]

Written in United Kingdom

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, […]

Written in United States

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 […]