Suntrap Garden

World’s biggest bring and buy sale

On Wednesday 18 February 2009, Blue Peter is hosting the World’s Biggest Bring and Buy sale at the Lakeside Shopping Centre. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens are helping children grow and eat better food through the Blue Peter’s Mission Nutrition appeal. They have joined up with two other charities, Save the Children and ContinYou, to run the appeal.


Mission Nutrition wants to help children around the world to eat well and grow their own food. It’s also a great way to raise the profile of the community farming and gardening movement and the work their members do on a daily basis to promote the benefits of growing for everyone.

If you can’t come along to their bring and buy sale why not organise your own. A fundraising pack is available on the appeal website.

Alternatively, if you are taking part and want to let us know about it why not leave a comment below.


Bridgend Allotments Community

Will be holding their Health Project’s Third Annual Potato Day.


There will be talks, crafts and lots of activities to take part in.  Seed potatoes for sale.  And, of course, there will be bangers and mash.

Why not come along to Inch House Community Centre on Sunday 22 February between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm. For more details give them a call on 0131c 664 9559.  It’s going to be a great day out.

Night Classes and Workshops at Suntrap


Saturday 10.00am – 12.00 Noon

£6 plus the cost of materials

All classes take place at Suntrap Garden, Gogarburn,

EXCEPT for the Apple Pruning on the 7th February (return mid afternoon).

Saturday 7th February Willie Duncan’s Apple Pruning Work Shop”

Meet at Suntrap Garden car park 9.15am. Mini bus transport to Willie’s garden at Drumeldrie in Fife. There will be a £2 cost per person for transport. Bring packed lunch, hot drink, warm clothes, strong footwear and secateurs. (Limited places)

Saturdays 14th 21th 28th February “Flower Arranging”

For beginners or for people who just want to improve their flower arranging skills and at the end of the three Saturdays students will feel more confident in arranging flowers. (N.B. Cost of flowers & materials extra)
Saturday March 14th “Turf Wars” Caring for your lawn, what to do and what not to do?

Saturday April 18th “Vegetable and fruit growing in a small space” Container vegetable growing.

Saturday May 16th “Hanging gardens of Babylon “Tom Hardwick’s version” Practical workshop planting up containers and baskets for Summer.  Containers, baskets and plants additional cost.

Evening classes

(7pm to 9pm)

‘Design Your Own Garden 11 weeks starting 22nd April £105

‘Amateur Gardening 10 weeks beginning 23rd April £ 80

To Book Workshops or Evening Classes or for more information contact:-

Moira at Oatridge College – 01506 864807


Tidy Up or Leave Alone?


Imagine a long pile of leaves blown into the wall next to a pavement – don’t you want to revert to childhood, jump in, drag your feet and kick leaves everywhere? I know I do and actually if I think no one is looking I admit I still do it. But in my garden fallen leaves are not fun they are just a nuisance that I feel the need to tidy every weekend at the moment.


So ‘To tidy or Not to Tidy’ is the question; make your own mind up with the pro’s and con’s below:


• When gathered, fallen leaves from deciduous trees make marvellous leaf mould. Collect them in leaf mould bags or use black bags, make some holes in the filled bags with a fork and hide them round the back of the shed for a couple of years. The resulting leaf mould is a lovely product, perfect for mulching plants, or for mixing in alpine or orchid compost

• Clearing leaves from the ground scrupulously at this time of year reduces the number of places that over wintering slugs, caterpillars, cut worms and grubs can hang out. Therefore you are likely to reduce some pest numbers just by being tidy.

• Lots of leaves that fall from our shrubs, trees and rose bushes will be covered in fungal spores, by removing these leaves we are helping to stop recontamination by the fungus. Composting the leaves tends to kill off a lot of these spores.

• Tidying up leaves and plant debris burns up calories; – so if you do a weekly garden workout you will be able to burn off all those extra calories and earned yourself a warm cup of coffee and a cake.


Or Not to Tidy?

• Clearing all your leaves and plant rubbish may get rid of a number of garden pests but it also discourages the ‘Good Guys’ such as ladybirds and lacewings which love plant debris to over winter in.

• Clearing removes an insulating layer from the surface of the soil, which can expose buds, rhizomes and bulbs to frost and winter wet.

• Nature does her own composting and gradually over the winter much of the dead plant material will be worked back into the soil. When you finally do your spring clean around March time you will find you have far less bulk to get rid of whether to the compost bin or wherever.
So make you own mind up and don’t feel guilty whichever you choose.

Taken from a column published in November in Scotland on Sunday by Ann Burns, Team Leader Horticulture and Landscape Construction, Oatridge College