Christmas at Pentland: What's On


It's set to be another fantastic festive season at Pentland this year with lots of events planned for all of the family to enjoy! 

Here's a sneak peak at what's on, so save the dates and keep an eye on our website and Facebook page! Full details (including how to book) coming very soon!! 

- Poinsettia walks: Friday 24th November, 11am & 2pm. Saturday 25th November 2pm

- Wreath Decorating workshop: Thursday 30th November, 11am-12pm

- Real Christmas trees arrive: Friday 1st December

- Poinsettia Christmas tree unveiling: Friday 1st December

- Christmas dog photography sessions: Saturday 2nd December, 9.30am-3pm

- Kids Christmas craft workshop: Wednesday 6th December, 11am-12pm (pre school)

- Wreath decorating workshop: Saturday 9th December, 2-3pm

- Kids Christmas Craft workshop: Saturday 9th December, 11am (6 yrs plus)

- Castaways Carol Singers: Sunday 10th December, 12-2pm

- Donkeys at Pentland: Saturday 9th December– Sunday 18th December

- Midlothian Concert Band: Saturday 16th December, 12-2pm

- In-Chorus Choir: Sunday 17th December, 12-2pm

- Midlothian Band: Saturday 23rd December, 12-2pm

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Christmas Shopping Event 2017


Thursday 19th October, 5pm - 8pm (FREE admission)

Join us for our exciting Christmas shopping event and be one of the first to see this year's stunning Christmas range! Enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic mulled wine and nibbles on arrival and 20% OFF EVERYTHING in our Christmas and giftware departments on the night! 
Plus, to get in the festive spirit, Café Panola will be opening late serving a special BYOB two-course evening menu (£12.95 per person). Booking required (Please call 0131 440 0895 to reserve your table).

Special Event Menu (2 courses for £12.95)

Here's a preview of the delicious home cooked food that David and his team will be serving on the night: 

- Roast sirloin of beef with a wild mushroom and port sauce

- Baked fillet of haddock filled with salmon and dill mousse, coated with prosecco cream sauce

- Cheese and parsnip roulade with sage and onion stuffing

(all served with fondant potatoes and roast vegetables)


- Sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce

- Lemon cheesecake

- Scottish cheese and biscuit selection with homemade chutney

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First Garden: Houseplants bring the outside in


Hazel lives in a new build half an hour from Edinburgh. The promise of a garden tempted her from the city, only she's never had a garden before and isn’t sure where to start. She does have a book called ‘Garden plants of Scotland’, a kitchen spoon and a pair of rubber gloves though. In the First Garden blog we’ll follow Hazel as she attempts to grow her first garden with the help of the team at Pentland Plants...

View all of hazel's First Garden blog posts here: 
Grow your own kitchen garden

Weed and pest control

Welcoming in the wild


Bring the outside in

‘Calatheas comes from the deep rainforests of the Amazon in South America. These plants retain their natural jungle rhythm, so even in your home or office, the leaves will open in response to the light. That’s why the Calathea is known as the living plant,’ reads the description on the label poking out of the pot.

I have a reputation when it comes to houseplants. I told my sister I was going to write about them and she laughed and offered to send me a photo of the stunningly healthy Peace Lily she rescued from my flat six years ago. It was, she reminded me, suffering in my care. She’s the head nurse in a heart intensive care ward so it makes sense she brought it back to life. So when I swept the Calathea’s dappled leaves into my trolley at Pentland Plants I put a copy of How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless beside it, just in case.



Pentland Plants have just begun to re-stock houseplants due to popular demand and the increasing trend for their visual and wellbeing benefits, so the boys and I went for a look at the weekend. The plants in the garden will soon shed their leaves or sneak under the soil to hide from the Scottish winter and the torrential rain drumming on the roof of the garden centre was a timely reminder of what lies ahead. Our new houseplants will bring a little of the outside in until we open the garden door again to spring.

The boys chose tiny succulents tucked into silver buckets with carrying handles perfect for little hands, my husband picked a stripy aloe and then they all went off to the café for cake. They were so happy in the playarea I had a whole hour to look at care labels and imagine where each plant could live. Three little ferns, a snake plant, an orchid and some larger succulents later we went home.

I put all the plants on the kitchen table for a few days while I thought about where to put them. I didn’t expect them to slowly disappear. So far the kids have claimed all the succulents, the fern and the orchid to make a dinosaur jungle populated by Lego people in their bedroom. They reluctantly brought them back so I could take a picture, I think the solution is just going to have to be more plants.



We’ve always had supermarket herbs and cut flowers in the kitchen/family room but the houseplants have added a new dimension. It was so relaxing choosing where to put them and the Calathea’s leaves really do snuggle closer together in the evening.

There are endless stories about the health benefits of living with plants but I have a science background so went in search of evidence. I found it, there are peer-reviewed research reports that suggest surrounding yourself with houseplants does have a relaxing effect on your body chemistry. Taking the time to care for plants by watering, repotting and the age-old talking to them helps too.

Of course, if you welcome a mini-ecosystem that is a plant in its pot into your home you are creating a new landing place for smaller creatures too, like flies, spiders or mites. That’s where the book will come in handy; it has pictures of ailments and how to treat them so you can keep your plants at their best.

There’s a new delivery of houseplants at Pentland Plants and I’ve had a sneaky peak at the list. Airplants, succulents, ferns, fly-catchers, plants that will be happy stretching up from the floor or tumbling down from the top of a shelf. I think I’ll be going back for another explore.


How to keep your house plants happy


Always make sure your plant has a pot with drainage holes at the bottom so water doesn’t gather and rot the roots. The plastic pot you buy it in is ideal to sit inside a more decorative container. If you don’t have a spare container, make one. Scrub the label off a tin can and pop your succulent inside, if it’s too deep put some pebbles underneath to hold it up. Anything that is waterproof will do. I asked the kids to help choose somethings to use as pots and our plans for the weekend now include spray painting an empty fish food tub bright yellow – the goldfish had a feast finishing it off.


Look at the label, does your plant prefer to be watered from above or below? Orchids like to be dunked for ten minutes and then lifted out to drip dry.

Succulents and cacti don’t need a lot of water so don’t be tempted to over water them, they love to be left alone.

If you have given your plant too much to drink, lift it out of its container and wrap the soil in kitchen roll or an old cloth to soak the water away.


Plants will benefit from nourishment. Adding a fertiliser like Baby Bio to water will help your plant stay healthy. Pentland have everything you’ll need to keep your houseplants healthy including houseplant compost, cactus compost, and a variety of drip feeders.

Leaf care

Leaves do gather dust so it’s worth wiping them clean with a cloth every now and then so they are free to soak up energy from the light.

Dead head flowers and snip away dead leaves so they don’t rot on the plant.

Check your plant for mini-beasts and mould.

Potting on

If you take care of your plants they will thrive, eventually this means they’ll need a bigger pot. A good time of year to re-pot is in the spring.

Put fresh compost in first, turn your old pot upside down and gently tug the plant out, pop in the new pot, surround with fresh soil and water.

If the plant is too heavy to repot you can put fresh soil at the top to refresh the nutrients.


Click here to read more about the lovely range of houseplants in stock at Pentland Plants:



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NEW IN! House plants


This September you'll find our wonderful new range of house plants available at the garden centre. You can look forward to high quality succulents, palms, cactus, ferns and air plants, as well as many other exciting varieties to choose from. Not only do they complete the look of a room and are easy to care for, there are also many health benefits to having plants in your home, including:
Reducing carbon dioxide levels 
Increasing humidity 
Reducing levels of pollutants
Reducing airborne dust levels 
Keeping air temperatures down

Our exciting new collection will be on sale as of Saturday 2nd September. Here's a sneak peak at what will be in store: 


Phalaenopsis mix / stem

Aeschynanthus 'Japhrolepis' / hanging pot

Alocasia 'Polly'

Begonia(Beleaf) 'Evening Glow'

Begonia rex 'Caracas'

Begonia rex 'Santiago'

Begonia rex 'Ushuaia'

Begonia 'Magic Colours'® mix

Calathea mix

Chlorophytum com. 'Variegatum'

Chlorophytum com. 'Variegatum' / hangpot

Crassula marnieriana / hanging pot

Dieffenbachia extra mix

Dionaea musc. 'Venus Flytrap'

Dischidia nummularia / hangpot

Dracaena mix / stem

Dracaena mix / stem

Dypsis lutescens (Areca) / 60 CM

Epipremnum mix / hanging pot

Epipremnum pinnatum / mosspole

Fatsia japonica

Fern (indoor) mix

Fern (indoor) mix

Fern (indoor) mix

Fern (indoor) mix / hanging pot

Ficus benjamina mix

Ficus ben. 'Golden King'

Fittonia mix

Hanging plant mix / 12 cm 'Lima' hanging basket

Hanging plant mix / hanging basket

Hanging plant mix / hanging pot

Hedera mix

Hedera gold/yellow / hanging pot

Hedera silver / hanging pot

House-plant foliage mix / Foxtrot pot

Howea forsteriana / 110 CM

Muehlenbeckia complexa

Palm mix

Sansevieria trif. 'Laurentii'

Schefflera mix / mosspole

Scindapsus pictus 'Argyraeus' / hanging pot

Soleirolia soleirolii mix

Tillandsia, Airplants mix

Tillandsia, Airplants mix

Aloe vera / green

Cactus arrangement

Cactus arrangement

Cactus /siesta ceramic pot


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Welcoming in the wild


Hazel lives in a new build half an hour from Edinburgh. The promise of a garden tempted her from the city, only she's never had a garden before and isn’t sure where to start. She does have a book called ‘Garden plants of Scotland’, a kitchen spoon and a pair of rubber gloves though. In the First Garden blog we’ll follow Hazel as she attempts to grow her first garden with the help of the team at Pentland Plants...


Welcoming in the wild

When I was a teenager my Mum had a pet hedgehog. She fed it on steak mince and let it out of its box under the stairs every night to run up and down the corridor. She insisted it move in because apparently it was too small to survive the winter. When I grumbled that it was a noisy wild animal that was keeping me awake at night she’d point to the storms raging outside. Now I’d really like my own pet hedgehog, but it has to live in the garden.

You don’t need to give a hedgehog a home for the winter but there is lots you can do to make your garden a haven for wildlife at any time of the year. Let the grass by the edge of your lawn grow long for insects, build a bug hotel out of sticks and pine cones, put out seed for birds or plant nectar rich flowers to feed the butterflies and bees.

Our back garden still resembles a football pitch more than a garden but making space for wildlife has brought a lot of fun to our house this summer. The whole family has been frog hunting in a pile of mossy rocks scavenged from a nearby field and there are more spiders living there than I like to think about, we’ve cheered when they’ve snared midges and run screaming when they’ve moved at all.

We recycled a wooden pallet into a bug hotel complete with integrated hedgehog suite at the back, as yet unoccupied, removable glass-jar ‘observation chambers’, stacks of sticks and piles of pine cones all topped with a plastic tray planted with scabious to attract the butterflies. An old bucket became a temporary tadpole nursery; we sunk it into the ground and made shade with rocks and grass. It quickly became home to other insects too.


There are tadpoles in there.


Frogs finding their feet


Our bug hotel is ready for visitors.


The biggest hit for wild visitors though has been the wildflower meadow. When the grass was first seeded I sprinkled native wildflower seed in a strip at the edge. A family of grey partridges wandered up through the fields every night for a week and ate the lot. None of it grew. So we cheated and unfurled a beautiful roll of meadow matt. Right now it is bursting with red clover and heavy with nectar, the local bees buzz about looking almost drunk.


A wild flower meadow brings colour, bees and butterflies to your garden.


Gold finches, tree sparrows and even a collared dove are regular visitors to our bird feeder. I bought a little clear box with a perching bar and tray from Pentland Plants that sticks onto the window, it’s amazing to sit right next to it and watch the birds swoop in for a snack. Pentland Plants sell birdfeeders and seed in all sorts of styles so pick one, fill it up and wait for the flock to arrive. Don’t forget to give your birdfeeder a scrub with hot soapy water every now and then to prevent fungus from growing or diseases spreading between the birds.

One brave pair of House Martins built a nest in our kids’ playhouse, watching them turn and glide effortlessly through the tiny hole in the door was incredible. They abandoned it a few days later, probably in favour of a spot where no-one pretends to be a pirate.


Mud and grass woven into a nest in the noisiest part of the garden


The choices you make when you build your garden can help make your home a haven for smaller creatures too. As more land is turned over to housing, creating spaces that welcome in the wild can provide a lifeline to species that are struggling to find enough food or shelter. A pile of sticks bound with string is still a bug hotel, a container of wild flowers will feed a bee and a patch of long grass will shelter more creepy crawlies than you can count. That said, our favourite visitor so far is one I have to admit is not likely to wander into most gardens but he is very popular here and has helped to tame the overgrown kale patch.


Our favourite wild visitor

I’ve found watching a frog emerge from a tangle of grass or a flock of goldfinches descend greedily upon a feeder to be the most rewarding part of building our garden. I’m still hoping to meet a hedgehog and I’ve just found out that Pentland Plants has hedgehog food in stock, I’m not telling my Mum. I will send her a link to this video from the Hedgehog Preservation Society though, it tells us why now it’s more important than ever to provide a home for the lovely slug slurpers.

To read more about Hazel's gardening blog, First Garden, click here:


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Where to find us

Pentland Plants Garden Centre
Pentland Mains
EH20 9QG

0131 440 0895

Opening hours

Monday - 9am to 5pm
Tuesday - 9am to 5pm
Wednesday - 9am to 5pm
Thursday - 9am to 5pm
Friday - 9am to 5pm
Saturday - 9am - 5pm
Sunday - 10am - 5pm

May - June
Open late till 6pm weekdays

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