Hartley Magazine

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

Written in United States

Fabulous Plants Depend on Great Dirt

A plant’s performance is often tied to the quality of the soil it’s growing in. According to Elizabeth Murphy, soil scientist, gardener, and author of Building Soil—A Down to Earth Approach, certain steps can be taken to modify garden soil. But what about purchased potting mixes that are the mainstay of containers, raised beds, and, […]

Written in United States

Making Kokedama—Chance Justbe Tells How

Imagine walking into a leafy greenhouse. There you find a group of plants, suspended in space, each growing out of a rounded ball of moss, and dancing lightly in the breeze—an utterly exquisite show. You’re looking at kokedama, an elegant Japanese bonsai technique for showing off superstar plants. Several years ago, Chance Justbe, a Pacific […]

Written in United States

Steal This! —the season’s best indoor show ideas

I think of indoor flower and garden shows as giant greenhouses where you can walk among the plants and pick up great ideas for your garden. I recently attended the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle. Here are some terrific takeaways you can use from that show. Play with perspective –The multiple award-winning Asian-inspired […]

Written in United States

How to Help Native Plants Win Back their Territory

It’s well known that really obnoxious invasives can overpower our native plant populations. Now meet Nancy Lawson, garden columnist, habitat consultant, and author of the book, The Humane Gardener. She’s got great advice for how gardeners can assist natives to fight back—and win. In Nancy’s two-acre garden outside Baltimore, Maryland, a fallen tree allowed the […]

Written in United States

In Praise of Paper Catalogs

Right now, my breakfast table is piled with gardening catalogs for my reading pleasure. And yet, I must ask—in this digital age, why do nursery folks continue to go to the time, trouble, and expense to put these colorful collections of plant offerings into my hands? “Our customers aren’t futurized,” one nursery employee wryly notes […]

Written in United States

Greenhouse Glory—How to Make Your Poinsettias Bloom Every Year

I confess—I’m a poinsettia composter. I tried growing them on after the holidays with my other houseplants, and the results were leggy and dismal. Now I’m talking with Kym Pokorny, a gardener, a 20-year veteran garden writer, and communications specialist at Oregon State University Extension Service. She’s always been interested in this iconic holiday plant. […]

Written in United States

Best Easy-Care Plants for Years to Come

It’s the time of year for giving thanks. And as a professional garden writer, I am thankful for the exciting new plants from growers and marketers that I get to trial and review. However, sometimes many seasons pass before plants demonstrate just how good they really are. So, I’d like to share a couple of […]

Written in United States

Instant Privacy Hedges—Now You Can Buy Time

Recently, while walking through the aisles of the Independent Garden Center trade show in Chicago, I discovered a product I’d never seen before—containerized hedges. A row of neatly sheared plants outlined the booth. Clearly, they were field-grown and root pruned, their branches naturally intermingling. It was a living privacy wall you could buy. It would […]

From Acer to Zelkova—New Small Trees Solve Big Problems

It’s that time of year when horticultural trade shows deliver the best and brightest for next year’s market. I was lucky enough to attend several, including the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago and the FarWest Show in Portland, Oregon. That’s where I met up with Nancy Buley, Communications Director of the wholesale company, J. […]

Written in United States

Gardens to Share—Portrait of a Gem Hidden in Plain View

This month I’m looking at what can happen when private gardeners take their passion public. Streissguth Gardens is a private/public enterprise that could be duplicated in neighborhoods all over the country. Recently, I went for an urban hike with friends on the east side of Seattle’s Lake Union. On Blaine Street, we arrived at a […]

Written in United States

Think Outside the Vase—Floral designer Sylvia Lukach shares unusual choices from her home country of South Africa

South Africa is a cornucopia of exciting plants, perfect candidates for the greenhouse or the garden in warmer parts of the U.S. Knowing and growing these rarely featured varieties opens up a whole new world of interesting designs. This month I’m talking to Sylvia Lukach, founder of Cape Lily, Floral Design and Travel. She’s originally […]

Written in United States

Make a Flowery Hat—Another way to enjoy your garden’s bounty

It’s the season when our gardens are overflowing with flowers. So, I asked garden writer and photographer Janet Davis to share her delightful tips for creating wearable floral art. And with a greenhouse, you don’t even have to wait for the bountiful season. You could get this look year-round. Here’s how she does it.   […]