Suntrap Garden

How to attract bumble bees

There has been a lot on the news this year about the hard times ahead for bumble bees.  We can all do our bit to help, they  need flowers throughout the Spring and Summer (March-Sept), and these need to be the right kinds of flowers.  Instead of planting bedding plants and all the hard work that goes along with them, why not try growing traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers. Many of these thrive and look superb in the garden. They are also easy to grow, generally being hardy and much more resistant to slugs and disease. Bumble bee species differ in the length of their tongues, and as a result prefer different flowers, so it’s important to grow a range of different things.

There are lots of plants to choose from, so why not start to plan your garden so that you encourage the humble bumble bee.

March – April

Apple, Bluebell, Broom, Bugle, Cherry, Erica carnea (heather), Flowering Currant, Lungwort (Pulmonaria), Pear, Plum

May – June

Alliums, Aquilegia, Birds-foot trefoil, Bugle, Bush vetch, Campanula,Ceanothus, Chives, Comfrey, Cotoneaster, Escallonia,

Everlasting Pea, Everlasting wallflower, Foxglove, Geranium, Honeysuckle, Kidney Vetch, Laburnum, Lupin, Monkshood, Poppies, Raspberries

July – September

Black horehound, Borage, Bramble, Buddleia, Cardoon, Catmint, Cornflower, Delphinium, Heathers, Hollyhock, Hyssop, Knapweed, Lavender, Lesser burdock, Marjoram,

Mint, Penstemon, Polemonium, Purple loosestrife, Red bartsia


Open Day – Sunday 24 May

We’re ready and looking forward to your visit.


Guided Garden Tours with John Smith, Team Leader at Suntrap,

11.00 am, 12.00 noon, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm


11.00-12.00    How to plant containers with Ann Burns from Oatridge College

12.00-1.00     How to care for Bonsais with the Scottish Bonsai Association

Garden Advice throughout the day with Brian Williams and Ann Burns

Buy some plants from MacPlants, Friends of Suntrap or from the Suntrap Garden Centre

Scavenger hunt, children’s games and face painting

Meet Eubee the 18 month old snowy owl

Relax with a cup of tea or coffee and some home baking from the Friends of Suntrap

Weather for Suntrap Garden Open Day – Sunday 24 May

I thought I would check out the weather for Sunday, it’s set to be dry and sunny.

It looks like the perfect weather for a trip to our Open Day.

mark's feet .jpg

A busy day in the garden

Weeding and Edging


Moving Plants




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.

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

What a great day….

out we had at Gardening Scotland on Friday. A bit wet in the rain but it didn’t stop us touring the show gardens, spending lots of time in the Exhibition Hall and buying some new plants.

We also came away with a few certificates from the Pallet Garden Competition.

Silver Gilt for Stewart and the pupils at Glencryan School for their bog garden theme.

Gold for Cedarbank for their pallet garden – “The Living Organ” and all the healthy fruit and vegetables you can grow. They use their vegetables to make Soup for their lunch every Wednesday.

Pinewood also won a gold for their garden “The Outdoor Classroom” which was full of lots of interesting plants and herbs. They also won second in show for the group category but were pipped out of first place by this brilliant garden based on Peter Rabbit and aptly called “Mr McGregor’s Garden”