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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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Top tips for autumn health and fitness

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness We’ve found Activate clients usually like to refocus on their goals as summer draws to a close, so here are some tips for autumn health and fitness. Something about the season change always motivates people to create a routine that usually lasts from now until the holidays. With all […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

We’ve found Activate clients usually like to refocus on their goals as summer draws to a close, so here are some tips for autumn health and fitness.

Something about the season change always motivates people to create a routine that usually lasts from now until the holidays.

With all the change and flux over the past 18 months, your routine might be a little different this year. However, that’s no reason to avoid revisiting your goals. As always, we’re here to help. At Activate we’re challenging ourselves to do Goal Review Sessions with as many members as possible in the next six weeks.
We’d love to sit down with you to make a plan. If there are any new challenges in your life – working from home, lack of child care, etc – we can help you find ways to prioritise your health and fitness.

Here are a few simple things to keep making progress:

1. Schedule your workouts

Things are going to get busy in September so pull out your calendar and schedule your workouts. Once you have them booked, treat them like important appointments that can’t be moved. This is key to building your routine as kids go back to school and job stress increases.

2. Get fitness out of the way earlier in the day

Most people find that getting a workout in early in the day “sets them up”. This can be true, but having that non-negotiable time is vital regardless of whether its morning or evening. If you tend to get to the afternoon slump and the idea of a workout slips down the list of priorities and sometimes doesn’t happen at all, start working out before work and stop it becoming an issue!

3. Pack your gym bag the night before

This is a small thing, but it’s super effective. If you’re scrambling in the morning, the kids are crazy, and you’re running late, you might say “forget it” to fitness if you have to pack a bag. But if it’s sitting by the door, all you have to do is grab it. Better yet, put it in the car, so there’s no chance you forget it. An emergency measure: Always leave some “backup” clean workout gear and shoes in the car or at the office, so you’re covered if you ever forget the gym bag.

4. Prioritise nutrition and rest

If you’re feeling burned out, you can do wonders for your health just by eating well and getting a little extra sleep. Resist the urge to order the 10pm pizza. Get healthy meals planned and then get to bed on time – or even earlier if you’re feeling run down. If you absolutely can’t find time to work out, sleep and nutrition become even more important.

5. Get some healthy snacks

Many trips through the drive-through are caused by hunger and desperation. You can often avoid them by getting some healthy options in place so you’re prepared when hunger strikes. Maybe keep a box of low-sugar, high-protein bars at the office, or put a few healthy frozen meals on an “emergency shelf” in the freezer. You can always keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand, but a few non-perishable backups will help you double down on healthy eating when time is tight.

6. Tell your coach how you’re doing

We are here for you! If you’re having a great day, let us know. If you’re struggling, we want to know about that too because communication is critical. This will help us tailor our service to give you exactly what you need each day.

Now is the best time of year to set yourself up for solid routine as winter draws closer. If the pandemic has thought us anything, it’s that health and fitness should be an integral part of our lives.

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Universal Contour Body Wrap

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio After the busy warm summer, the kids are now back to school so you might have a little extra time for some constructive pampering. Having a body wrap can be amazing for your skin, and also for inch loss and detoxing. If you’re looking for a […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

After the busy warm summer, the kids are now back to school so you might have a little extra time for some constructive pampering.

Having a body wrap can be amazing for your skin, and also for inch loss and detoxing. If you’re looking for a treat now that you have time as you are back to a routine, this might be the thing for you. With our renowned body wrap, you will be covered in sea clay from head to toe. The clay itself contains bentonite for excellent draining properties, magnesium sulphate for stimulation and exfoliation, magnesium chloride combats stress and fluid retention, zinc oxide which is anti-inflammatory, and sodium chloride for tightening skin.

It’s hypoallergenic, not tested on animals and all natural ingredients. It can be very healing on skin suffering from psoriasis or eczema, with stretch marks or loose sagging skin from losing weight or having a baby. It’s also suitable for both men and women that are looking to kick start a weight loss programme or just a feel-good treatment.

Along with clay, we use a specific wrapping technique with bandages, to lift and tighten the skin and help to contour the body shape. Also, there are electrical straps with a faradic current stimulating blood flow to aid excretion of toxins which helps the anti-cellulite effect and detoxification process. Anyone that has ever tried to lose a few pounds or diet knows that a good detox sets you up to lose weight more efficiently. Finally, you are cocooned in a heated blanket, to help you sweat out any excess toxins. The heat of the blanket helps to open the pores and allows the active sea clay go in and absorb the toxins at a deeper level. Overall it is a very enjoyable and effective treatment.

There is a specific three-day detox to follow directly after having the wrap. For more information or to book an appointment, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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