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Plant names can be confusing

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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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Self-care equals wellness

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Science supports time off and recharging as a means of reducing stress, improving productivity and living a healthier lifestyle. A wellness […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Science supports time off and recharging as a means of reducing stress, improving productivity and living a healthier lifestyle.

A wellness day can be a godsend in this scenario offering a place to relax, rejuvenate, reflect, detox, and pamper yourself while getting some much needed ‘me time’. Relaxing time is, more than ever, an important part of life. Seeking out health boosting treatments that work for you are essential for a healthier quality of life. As we have entered the dark cycle, it brings space for new beginnings. I used to struggle with this time of year and now I find I embrace the invitation, maybe age or wisdom! There can be a lot of cultural and habitual ways of thinking about tending to our needs that might need to be unpacked from our minds; that serving our needs is selfish, that expressing needs is not being grateful enough… that we should muscle through and get on with it…. that caring for your needs is indulgent.

One way we can start to get rid of some of these myths and move towards our needs is to spend time in nature; fresh air, walks, taking care of ourselves, to notice how we feel when we feel supported and nurtured.

Another way of unwinding is booking a holistic or beauty treatment which can be more beneficial than the end result. It can be the process of the letting go and having time for yourself. The relaxation helps improve circulation and lymphatic drainage which are all positive results from a little bit of self-care.

If you have never tried a hot stone massage, a Swedish massage, reflexology, a facial, pedicure or foot health now is the time to book. If you simply don’t know where to start then call Jill on 064 6632966 for advice.

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Activate’s pre-season programme for 2023

By Kayleigh Cronin from Activate Fitness   Want to gain a sharper edge this off-season and be a stronger, faster, and more powerful athlete in 2023? If the answer is […]

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By Kayleigh Cronin from Activate Fitness

 

Want to gain a sharper edge this off-season and be a stronger, faster, and more powerful athlete in 2023? If the answer is yes, then join Activate’s 2023 pre-season programme.

The majority of athletes will want to enter the pre-season:

– Fitter, able to withstand the hard sessions ahead
– Bigger and stronger, so they can handle and dominate the knocks, bumps and contacts
– With greater speed, so they can outrun the opposition.

That is where we come in.

Why Activate, Why Now?

Over the last number of years, the ‘season’ of any given sport has changed drastically. Now, amateur sports people are expected to train all year round as professionals do. The off-season used to mean putting your feet up, these days it means you can put yourself to (smart) work, honing in on any weaknesses in your armour. Athletes who choose to take it easy and not enhance their athletic performance are at an immediate disadvantage when the season begins.

It is often athletes who are most serious about their sport that are least likely to ‘take it easy’ during any stage of the season. They are often the ones who are first back to the gym or pitch after a season ends, usually with a generic programme in hand. These training programmes are usually given to every player on the team, regardless of any individual needs you may have and you are left to your own devices to get through it. Many athletes are willing, or do, put in the hard work that is required, but often the effort being put in is not transferring into the results that are deserved from the amount of work being put in.

If it was as easy as a generic training programme (mostly terrible .pdf docs), we’d see resilient, powerful and confident athletes everywhere come day one of the season. But we don’t because it’s not as simple as a tick box programme or finding the latest circus trick exercises on social media. Do we expect a goalkeeper to cover the same sprint distance as a corner forward in a match? No. Do we expect a corner back to cover the same total distance as a midfielder in a match? No. So why do we expect the same programme to work for every player, regardless of playing position, individual needs and so on?

Through testing and a needs analysis, we will determine what area of your individual game needs improvement and put a plan in place that will allow you to gain a sharper edge this off-season.
 

What Are We Offering?

We are offering an eight-week pre-season programme to any Gaelic footballer or general sport enthusiast. We are aware that some seasons are still ongoing, therefore the earliest start date is November 21, and the latest start date is December 12.

If you want to level up this year, you’ll want to consider having a fully integrated system for developing your athleticism. Allow us to put in place a system for you, working with a master’s qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach who has considerable inter-county playing experience, supported by some of the best in the business in S&C, Physiotherapy and Nutrition.

A system that ensures when it matters, you are ready.

Testing & Assessment
Gym
Conditioning
Recovery
Physio (if required)
Nutrition
Accountability
Support

For more information follow our Facebook page, or email me at kayleigh@activate.ie.

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