PENTLAND PLANTS BLOG

The latest news, events and tips from our team

The story of our home grown Poinsettias

Did you know that Pentland Plants were one of the first nurseries in the UK to grow the now popular Poinsettia. 

Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbia family and known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima. Joel Robert Poinsett introduced the plant to the US in 1928 He was a botanist, physician and the first US ambassador to Mexico. 

In its native Mexico they are a wild plant growing up to 3 m and the coloured parts are not actually flowers but modified bracts or leaves. The actual flowers are the yellow cyathia in the centre and when it is in full flower you can see the bottle brush flower covered in pollen. We treat them with growth retardant and pinch them to keep them compact.

In the early 60’s David Sprays Father Joseph read about them in an American journal and had some sent across from California. In those days we bought in dry woody plants which we coaxed back to life to produce cuttings. Now of course we import soft green cuttings from Ethiopia as air travel has made the world a much smaller place so anywhere is just a day away. 

The cuttings arrive in July and are potted into 13cm pots in a very special open compost with lots of food and trace elements included. They are pinched to produce side shoots and spaced out regularly to give a good all round shape. They are grown in a warm, bright, draft free glasshouse and watered and fed until they change colour in November. 

We grown over 50,000 Poinsettias here at Pentland and supply garden centres across the country with all the colours available such as whites, pinks, variegated and burgundy. A beautiful range is currently available to purchase at Pentland Plants. They make a lovely gift and can also be kept well after Christmas as a normal houseplant!

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November in the Garden

 

 

November: The days are noticeably shorter and frosts chill the air...

This is a good time for planting all trees and shrubs, as well as hedges, to give them plenty of time to get established before winter. Container-grown plants can be planted at any time of year, but you can save money at this time of year by opting for bare-rooted hedging, or root-balled trees and shrubs.

Tulips are happy to be planted so much later than all the other spring-flowering bulbs. But this is the perfect time to plant, so try not to miss it. If planting in pots then ensure you use a bulb fibre. They wont need watering until the fibre has either completely dried out or the bulbs are well established.

Leaves are piling up in every corner… consider generating your own leaf mould as the decaying leaves produce an invaluable soil conditioner. The job of collecting leaves can be made easier by using a jumbo leaf scoop… they not only protect your hands from thorns and cuts but are also great for collecting other garden debris.

But what about our garden wildlife…. Well the berries in your garden are a feast for birds, thrushes and blackbirds become more noticeable, venturing onto lawns searching for worms and fallen fruit. Bird tables become a bustle of activity, with birds queuing up to take their turn at feeders. It’s so important to keep feeders filled and a fresh supply of water would be an added welcome.

As the days grow colder Hedgehogs will be looking for that cosy place to hibernate. Consider investing in a purpose made Hedgehog home; this doesn’t just offer shelter but also adds a quirky attraction to your garden space. 

If you would like help, ideas and inspiration for your garden or have any questions, please call into the garden centre and have a chat with a member of our knowledgeable team. They’ll be very happy to help. 

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October in the Garden

 

October, and the gardens are ablaze with autumnal colour and charm. Acers are putting on a spectacular show and Sorbus trees stand tall like a towering inferno.

Now we really need to get busy, pruning back the herbaceous borders and plants! But let us not forget that foliage provides an excellent shelter for overwintering mammals and insects. Indeed, some herbaceous plants actually benefit more from being cut back in spring as oppose to the autumn. Slightly less hardy perennials such as Penstemons are better left alone as the top growth provides winter protection.

Morning temperatures are noticeably dipping, especially around exposed areas, so bring under glass all half hardy plants, especially tender herbs and olive trees.

October is a good time to spread a top layer of mulch on herbaceous borders. This will provide a protective covering for more tender plants during the cold winter months.

Spring flowering bulbs can be planted. There are so many varieties available so be creative and ask in store for help and advice on planting schemes. Daffodils need to be planted first, and remember to plant tulips later in November. The planting depth is very important! Bulbs planted too shallow won’t flower after their first year. A good rule to remember… plant bulbs three times in depth of the bulb size in a free draining compost. By doing this you really can’t go wrong.

Our much-loved lawns have been part of our gardens for centuries, originally created behind castle walls and within cloisters of monasteries. Autumn and regular mowing comes to an end. Apply as autumn top dressing and keep the lawn free from fallen leaves where pest and disease may hibernate until the new season.

Autumn is the time to support visiting birds and wildlife to our gardens. Birds especially will need a helpful hand in building up their energy reserves to see them through the winter months. Bird feeds come in many shapes and sizes and filling them with high fat foods will help the bird population dramatically. Birds will soon use vital energy to visit your feeder so let’s keep them well stocked!

Want to find out more about autumn gardening? You’ll find Allie in the outdoor plant area, who will be very happy to help. We will also be running drop in sessions in the outdoor plant area over the coming weeks. Click here to find out more:

https://www.pentlandplantsgardencentre.co.uk/blog/new-mini-drop-in-sessions.html

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NEW: Mini Gardening workshops

 

New to Pentland Plants this Autumn are our FREE mini workshops. Join plant expert Alie in the outdoor plant area for informative workshop sessions held every fortnight. 

Here are the exciting sessions being held over the next few weeks. Come along and join us, there's no need to book!


Autumn Lawn Care, Sunday 30th September: 3pm              

Autumn is an important season for taking care of your lawn. Effort put into a lawn in autumn will improve the quality and health through into next spring. Join us for a ‘How to guide’ on simple lawn care techniques and top tips.

 

Sunday 14th October, Spring Bulb Planting: 3pm

Plant bulbs for a magnificent display of show stopping spring colour. Bulbs can be planted in pots or straight into the ground. Which way up? How deep? We answer all your questions and give advice on planting ideas and schemes.

 

Sunday 28th October,  Winter Wildlife: 3pm

Prepare your garden for winter wildlife. The winter months are a tough time for birds and animals. Join us for ways on how to attract and support our native and visiting wildlife throughout the winter months. 

 

Sunday 11th November, Blazing Autumn Colour: 3pm

Autumn and we are surrounded by the splendour of beautiful browns, fiery reds and vibrant orange. Our plant exerts will show you a selection of shrubs perfect for autumn foliage colour which add beauty and vibrancy to the autumnal garden. 

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Beautiful house plants

Keep an eye out in the annex for our beautiful house plants! We have a large collection available to suit all tastes, includig the very popular air plants! They're a great way to brighten up your home, they have some wonderful health benefits and make a lovely gift too!

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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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