PENTLAND PLANTS BLOG

The latest news, events and tips from our team

Christmas Cheer begins here

About our 'First Garden' blog


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 wonderful blog posts here: 
Grow your own kitchen garden
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/just-nipping-out-to-the-garden-for-some-salad.html

Weed and pest control
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/weed-pest-control.html

Welcoming in the wild
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/welcoming-in-the-wild.html

 

 

Christmas Cheer begins here 

In our house Christmas begins with cake. We make it together, put it away in the cupboard and then feed it with brandy so that by the time December comes around it’s almost ready to be used as a firelighter. When lush red poinsettias pop up in the shops it’s a reminder to top the cake up a bit more, just in case. The poinsettias’ beautiful red leaves are nurtured from cuttings at Pentland Plants then travel to supermarkets, garden centres and shops all over the UK.

Cake baking is quickly followed by making or choosing a wreath for the front door. Last year’s home-made effort was a little lopsided so I’m looking forward to choosing one of the beautiful wreaths Pentland Plants have in stock this year. It is a lot of fun making a wreath so if you are feeling creative book into the shop’s wreath decorating workshop on 30 November or 9 December so you can twist and wind ribbon, fir cones and beautiful festive ornaments into a winter welcome for your own front door.

Last year we took the Christmas Decorations up a notch and bought a glowing reindeer. At first I thought it might be a bit much but it lights up the dark as soon as you turn the corner to the house and just makes us smile so it’ll be plugged in at the window next to the front door on 1 December. That’s when the real Christmas trees arrive in stock at Pentland Plants and the most spectacular tree of all is unveiled – Pentland Plant’s stunning 10ft Poinsettia Christmas Tree.

 

 Pentland Plant’s treasure trove of Christmas decorations

 

We usually have two trees at home, a small artificial tree that the kids are in charge of decorating and a real one that my husband loves to chop up at New Year and burn in the fire. The kids carefully choose one or two decorations each year to add to the collection for their tree and I get to put the breakable ones up high on the real tree well out of reach of charging dinosaurs.

We’ve slowly built up our Christmas box over the years, adding lights, a nativity and endless glittery silver bobbles. The blue and green ones were stealthily removed by the kids last year to use as ‘plankton’ for a game of feed the whale and have been rolling about ever since. Folded stars and other paper decorations in bright colours were the mainstay for years – kids can learn how to make their own at Pentland Plant’s craft workshop on 6 and 9 December.

The shop has a busy programme of activities throughout November and December to celebrate Christmas. We are most looking forward to saying hello to Felix and Freda the donkeys who’ll be moving in for over a week from the Scottish Borders Donkey Society on 9 December. Pop in, pick some new decorations, lights or a houseplant or two. I’ll be spending the Winter slowly building a jungle in my living room and scribbling ideas for the garden in Spring. In the meantime a touch of tinsel around the monstera plant and a star or two dangling next to the ferns will bring Christmas into our home too. Happy Christmas when it comes!

 

Find out what events are on this Christmas at Pentland here:
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/christmas-at-pentland-what-s-on.html 

 

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Home baking at Cafe Panola

Fresh, quality, homemade food is at the heart of our café. We always use locally sourced products where possible, and our talented team is dedicated to creating delicious food for our customers every day. Recently, talented pastry chef Stephan joined the team. We’re delighted to have him working with us here at Pentland and have been enjoying tasting lots of his delicious creations over the past few months!

Stephan makes all of our cakes and tray bakes from scratch. We don’t buy things like bases, or scone mixture in – it’s all homemade - fresh every day! Something we’re really proud of.

We’re sure many of our customers would like to know more about Stephan and his work, so this week we thought it would be nice to step behind the scenes of café Panola for a quick Q&A chat….

 

Where did you start your career as a pastry chef?

‘’I started my career in 1980 at a pastry shop in Paris called Pâtisserie de l’Église It’s still there today and has a reputation for creating very good cakes. I often still go there if I’m after something special.''

 

Where did you learn your skills?

''Over the years I’ve worked at various restaurants, hotels, cafes and pastry shops across France and Scotland, (including places like the Balmoral Hotel and Florentine’s in Edinburgh). In this time I’ve learnt lots of techniques and refined my skills.''

 

What can customers expect to see at Café Panola?

''Always homemade food! Taste is very important to me, so I really focus on this. There’s no point having something that looks nice, but then tastes disappointing. I put a lot of effort into making sure things taste great and also look nice. Presentation is also very important!''

 

What are your aims working at Cafe Panola?

''I want to bring something different and make sure there’s variety – something for everyone. Customers can expect Scottish favourites like sticky toffee pudding, but also things that are a little different and have a French influence.''

 

 You’ll find Stephans homemade desserts, cakes and traybakes available in Café Panola every day of the week. He creates cakes to order, so if you have a family celebration or birthday coming up, have a chat with the café team! He’s also just finished creating some wonderful Christmas cakes, which will be available to buy and enjoy later this month, so watch this space for more details soon!

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Guided festive Poinsettia nursery tours 2017

Friday 24th November, 11am & 2pm. Saturday 25th November, 2pm

Many of our customers will know that we’re one of the biggest growers of Poinsettia plants in the UK. We grow over 100,000 poinsettias each year and supply supermarkets and retailers across the country.

Come and join us for a guided tour through the nurseries at the garden centre and see it bursting with a sea of Poinsettia plants!

Our tours are free for everyone. To reserve your space please call 0131 440 0895

 

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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
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/just-nipping-out-to-the-garden-for-some-salad.html

Weed and pest control
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/weed-pest-control.html

Welcoming in the wild
https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/welcoming-in-the-wild.html

 

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

Potting

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.

 Watering

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.

Feeding

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: https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/new-house-plants.html

 

 

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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

Cactus

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Where to find us

Pentland Plants Garden Centre
Pentland Mains
Loanhead
Midlothian
EH20 9QG

0131 440 0895
shop@pentlandplants.co.uk 

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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

Christmas Opening Hours:
Closed: Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's Day

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