Perennials that are moody depending on the weather

June 2, 2015 0 comments
Geranium june.

The other day I dropped by my brother’s new home and he proudly showed me the beds he had just planted with hypoestes (polka dot plant). “They’re great,” I said. “But you know they’re annuals. You’ll have to replace them… Read More

A new day for a great glass house

May 6, 2015 0 comments
Botts Show House Small_edited-1

One of my favorite places, the great Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, is all shiny and sparkly. In a good way. I remember when it was shiny and sparkly in a bad way: the day in June 2011 after golf-ball-sized… Read More

Planting for the future

March 18, 2015 0 comments
Petunia seeds sprouting

I had the pleasure of spending the last day of February at a regional meeting of the Perennial Plant Association at The Morton Arboretum near Chicago. “Ready, Set, Grow!” was the theme of the daylong symposium, and are we ever!… Read More

A cold frame gives you a jump on the growing season

February 4, 2015 0 comments
Michelle standing in front of cold frames

The weather report may still be full of blizzards, but once Ground Hog Day rolls around, springtime becomes less of a memory and more of a prospect. That’s when it’s worth thinking about buying or building a cold frame to… Read More

From Lace collars to muddy boots, greenhouses in history

January 6, 2015 0 comments
winter scene with Hartley greenhouse in snow in MA

I’ve been running into a lot of glasshouses in my midwinter reading. I just finished reading up about Edward VII, son of Prince Albert, who dazzled the world with the Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Albert was a better… Read More

Those impossible looking big, beautiful blooms

December 1, 2014 0 comments

If you have a heated greenhouse, you have a big advantage in growing amaryllis, those bulbs with huge, dramatic flowers that are such popular holiday gifts. Pretty much anybody with a bright window can get an amaryllis bulb to bloom,… Read More

The Great Fall Cleanup

October 2, 2014 0 comments

The sumac leaves have turned scarlet and the end of the season is finally near. It’s time to clear away this summer’s garden and get tender plants into the house or the greenhouse before the first frost hits. Hygiene is… Read More

Why a Hartley? Hartley Botanic