Planting for the future

March 18, 2015 0 comments

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

The Future is Green

September 3, 2014 0 comments
Phipps Sept 14

THE FUTURE IS GREEN in Pittsburgh’s famous glasshouse I saw one of the world’s great greenhouses last month when I visited Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. One of the largest conservatories in the world, with soaring, lacelike Edwardian… Read More

Dahlias, dahling

August 21, 2014 0 comments
dahlias Aug14

  As the summer winds down and the garden outside the greenhouse is wan and fading, up pop the dahlias. With jaunty bright flowers on tall stalks, they scoff at the coming of fall like flamboyant Auntie Mame defying middle… Read More

Favorite Watering Tools

July 8, 2014 0 comments
soaker hose flat

Inside a greenhouse, it’s fairly easy to control the water your plants get. Out under the open sky, it’s harder. Normally, by July, I would be starting to tire of the watering routine; the hoses seem to get heavier with… Read More

Pollen, please: Plants paying for sex

June 3, 2014 0 comments
lady bug

In his New York rooftop greenhouse, Rex Stout’s fictional armchair detective Nero Wolfe had three rooms for a wide variety of orchids. No insect entered that greenhouse. But although Wolfe was an obsessive hybridizer, it was bees, wasps and flies,… Read More

Why a Hartley? Hartley Botanic