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Plant names can be confusing




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

Common plant names really can be confusing… and one plant name which could not mean more different things to different people must surely be the ‘Lily’.

If we take size, lillies can be the tiny ‘Lily of the Valley’ or convallaria, 15cm tall, to the stately ‘Himalayan lily’, or Cardiocrinum, 5m tall. Alphabetically, lillies can be the ‘Peruvian lily’, or Alstroemeria, or ‘St.Joseph’s lily’, aka, ‘Altar lily’ which is at the opposite end of the alphabet, being a Zantedeschia…. Confusing? Absolutely! When I think of lillies I automatically think of those found in bouquets, but even then, are they Stargazers - oriental lillies, Easter lilles - longiflorums, or tiger lillies - lancifolium?

I am not writing this article in order to frustrate, rather to clarify and explain. Many people, when they ask a ‘straightforward’ question about lillies, are met with a perplexed look, and then the ‘smart’ question: ‘which type?’ So I will go through the broad groups in order to show that everyone has a different plant in mind when they say the word ‘Lily’!

Most frequently people mean the Calla lily. These are the plants which have long, strappy leaves which appear directly out of the soil, and the ‘flower’ is truly a spathe around a spadix. A spathe is a coloured bract, a spadix is a spike of tiny flowers. A true calla is a bog plant with a white spathe, also known as bog arum. On the other hand, a true Arum lilly is also a plant with a spathe in either white or yellow, which gets spikes of bright red berries, and is known as ‘Lords and Ladies’. This plant prefers a well drained moist soil, at the side of running water is ideal. Arum lillies are often confused with ‘Altar lillies’ – which go by a host of other common names – the tall white lillies common in so many (older) gardens. These are easy to grow in moist soil in full sun. They are fairly hardy, but in case of a cold winter it is wise to cover them with a deep mulch in the autumn. Generally they are sold as small, almost unrecognisable plants in the garden centre, as they take a few years to mature to flowering. Their colourful counterparts, currently available in deep orange, bright pink, dark purple and cheerful yellow, are always for sale in flower, though they are smaller and less hardy. They benefit from being taken indoors in the winter or should be treated as an annual plant. These are often marketed as Calla lillies, but are actually Zantedeschia too. The large white variety is Zantedeschia aethiopica, leading to one of its common names, Ethiopian Lily, which then gets confused with the African Lily, which is in fact an Agapanthus africanus. These are the strappy leaved plants with the clusters of mainly blue flowers on tall stems, which are in flower at the moment. Agapanthus is a clump forming plant which prefers full sun and rich, moist soil. There are many varieties available, from ‘Blue Giant’ which grows to 1.2m tall and is very free flowering, to the tiny ‘Lilliput’ which grows to 30cm with purple flowers. I find the white, dark purple and mixed colours less hardy than the blue, so covering them with a mulch is advisable.
I hope I have cleared up some confusion – however, next week we will delve a little further into the world of lillies!

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This week it’s all about the eyes

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look. A […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look.

A good eyebrow shape and tint really helps to give this look so you won’t have to try to draw or fill in the brows.

This is a popular treatment with both men and women. The lash lift can give you a natural boost, by lifting, conditioning, curling up which helps to open the eye giving it a brighter, more open look. Also, by tinting with the lash lift you are darkening; this helps the lashes look fuller and you won’t need to wear mascara. Your eye lashes will look very fluttery. You would even think you were wearing extensions without the damage to the natural lashes and its suitable for all ages. Even the shortest of lashes will be lifted.

The eyes and hands are some of the most important places for anti-ageing. With all the hand sanitising, it’s important to use hand cream more often. I always recommend applying just before bed so it can have time to really get to work on hydrating the hands. It’s clear from all my years of anti-ageing skincare for the face that hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for hydration and anti-ageing. If you feel you need a boost for the hands, it’s a great idea to try a warm paraffin hand manicure which is a game changer for the hydration of the hands. SPF is essential to reduce and prevent further age spots. Use an eye cream morning and night, followed by an eye mask once a week and an eye facial once a month. Eye facials can be added into your regular facial for an extra lift.

Eyes for me are an area that needs most work as they don’t have any sebaceous glands of their own unlike the rest of the body. I often hear people saying they are allergic to eye cream, mostly it’s applied wrong or into the eye. Imagine you were looking at a skull – the bone of the eye socket is far back from the actual eye itself. You apply the eye cream on the bone area, just under the eyebrow and well under the eye using the ring finger as not to drag the skin as it’s super delicate. Use light circular motion from the inner corner under the eyebrow out to the temple lifting the brow as you go. It will drop with time and gravity, so it’s our job to encourage it to stay in place by exercising the muscle.

For more information or to book a skin consultation for the New Year, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Night time is a restorative time for your skin

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio I get asked a lot about night creams. If you think you’re too young or too old to use them, guess […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

I get asked a lot about night creams. If you think you’re too young or too old to use them, guess again.

The production of collagen, a super building block in the maintenance of skin, hair and nails, begins to decrease as early as 25.

Night creams contain active ingredients that can’t be used during daylight hours as they react with the sun including Vitamin C, collagen, CoQ10, retinol, AHA’s, glycolic acids, hyaluronic acid and many more.

Also, while you are sleeping your skin is actively working on renewal, repair, and regeneration. These ingredients in good night creams help this process eg they are high in antioxidants which actively repair damage to the skin barrier and raise their immunity.

You apply a night cream before you go to bed, and it works its magic while you sleep. During the day your skin is subject to environmental stressors like pollution and sun. At night there is no potential for skin damage so the skin can focus on repair and regeneration. A night cream helps speed up this process. Night time is a restorative time for your skin.

Night creams also have anti-inflammatory agents which lessen the swelling and redness on the skin. They are deeply hydrating and help make the skin firmer and more elastic. In addition, they are usually deeply hydrating, providing a lot of moisture to the skin.

Night cream with collagen makes the skin firmer and more elastic, and it can smooth lines and wrinkles. It contains hydration from hyaluronic acid, which release hydration over serval hours and works better when sunscreen doesn’t interfere. In the morning your skin will appear plump and nourished, soft and supple.

You may even find you wear less make-up as your complexion improves or that your make-up is going on better to your beautiful hydrated fresh face.

I recommend you try Sothys Renovate Night Cream to reveal visibly renewed skin which appears rested and younger in the morning.

For any questions or more information ask Jill on 064 6632966.

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