Suntrap Garden


Apple Pruning Referesher Session – Saturday 6 February 10am – 12.00 Noon

Now is the time of year to be thinking about pruning your apple trees while they are still dormant.

How to prune properly is always the difficult part, you should make sure that the centre of the tree is relatively clear of growth, remove all weak, dead or diseased growth and keep the tree within the space available.  Always remember that apples will grow on wood produced the previous year, so always leave a good proportion (say 50%) of the previous year’s growth.

If you would like to find out the correct way to prune why not come along to our Apple Pruning Referesher Session on the 6 February for £10.00.  It is being taken by George Anderson, from the Beechgrove Garden, at the Caley’s Demonstration Allotment at Bridgend, near the Inch, Edinburgh.  You can either make your own way to the Inch or transport is available from Suntrap if required at a small extra cost.    Bring along a hot drink, strong footwear and secateurs.  To book a place call Suntrap on 0131 339 7283 or email suntrap@btopenworld.com.



Job for the Weekend
January 22, 2010, 10:08 am
Filed under: Gardening | Tags: ,

Now is a great time to start pruning hardwoods and take cuttings.  If there is one plant that I love and hate at the same time it’s Dogwood (Cornus).

They look amazing when cut down at the right time of year promoting those wonderful red or yellow canes in the wintertime.   Not cut down they just look like an uncared for bush and you wonder why anyone would want to grow them.

So the job for this week, if you have Dogwood, is cut them down to their base to promote strong new canes and great winter colour.



Birds Enjoying the Snow in the Garden



Garden and Plant Sales

We are open Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.   Please feel free to come along and have a wander around the garden and plant sales area.

Alternatively, if you would like to come as a group for a guided tour of the garden or you might like to host an event at the garden please call us on 0131 339 7283 or email suntrap@btopenworld.com.



Trees and Shrubs in the Garden for Winter Interest

Long nights and short days are upon us.  Most of us will only see our gardens at the weekend for the next few months.  So how can we brighten things up and ensure that our plot does not resemble a driech moor land until next spring?  There are many tricks that we can employ when using plants that will make things a bit more interesting and there is a plethora of worthy ornamental plants to choose from that really come into their own in autumn and winter.  It’s important to remember stems, structure and scent when choosing plants for the winter months.  Try some of the following ideas to enliven your garden:

Plant evergreens

  • Conifers and other evergreen plants such as box, Hebe, Bracyglottis or Viburnum Davidii really give structure to the winter garden.  Most of these plants are easily walked past in the summer time but in the winter they appear to stand out amid the barrenness of the garden.
  • For dark corners choose evergreens that are variegated such as Ilex ‘Golden Queen’, Aucuba japonica and Eleagnus pungens maculate.  The golden yellow on these leaves catches even the smallest amount of winter light and reflects it back ten fold.

Hebe Bracyglottis

Plant for Long Lasting Berries and Fruit

We all like to feed the birds and they are already making off with the red berries from Rowan’s and Cotoneaster’s around the garden.  Try planting shrubs with other colour berries and the birds will leave these alone for a longer time:

  • For yellow fruits try Malus ‘Golden Hornet’, the golden crab or alternatively the evergreen large Cotoneaster ‘Exburiensis’ whose yellow berries stay on the plant in my garden well into March.
  • Pale pink and white berries are produced respectively by Sorbus vilmorinii and S. Cashmeriana, both exquisitely ferny leaved and small rowans.
  • For the craziest, most unbelievable berry colour search out Callicarpa bodinieri with its bright purple fruit.

Callicarpa bodinieri

Plant for winter stem interest

  • Trees with interesting bark include the Eucalyptus group and many of the birches which range from pale bronze through white to almost pink.
  • For shrubs don’t be without the old favourites Cornus and Salix for glorious stem colour.
  • Add a bit of madness with the tortured stems of Corylus avellana contorta or Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.

Silver Birch Tree

Winter Flowers

  • Many are highly scented in an attempt to attract pollinating insects – so make sure you plant them where you can appreciate the perfume; include Sarcoccoca, Hamamellis and the Mahonias.
  • Don’t forget catkins – the best of which can be found on Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’.

Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

Taken from an article written by Ann Burns, Team Leader Horticulture, Oatridge College