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Adding colour and texture to your garden

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

After a long winter of bare trees and boring evergreens, we all long for colour with flowers everywhere, and each available space filled with blooms.

However, if you are like me, once June comes around, the colour already becomes a bit much. But, it is there, the work in planting has been done, the expense of the plants has been spent, so there is nothing for it but to sit and enjoy it… or, in my case, regret the fact that I could not stop myself every time saw a pretty flower!

Last year I was very strict with myself and stuck to a theme. Initially, in spring, yellow is so cheerful which generally leads me to buy a lot of yellow daisies, begonias and bidens…and then, come summer, I think it all looks like the dandelions I am cursing in the garden! So, a plan was needed and pink was my theme. This year, I am going to incorporate a lot of foliage plants as breaking the colour will give a more peaceful, calm look to the whole garden. I am envisaging large, blue hosta leaves like those of ‘Elegans’, or ‘Blue Angel’ as a foil for cream coloured flowers such as Nemesia or viola. Fatsia will make a great backdrop for any colour with its glossy, dark green leaves. Bamboo and grasses also provide breaks from colour, while variegated grasses will add movement and limited colour.

Creating pots and garden displays with a mixture of greenery and flower allows the eye and mind to appreciate better what it sees, creating a much more coherent feel to any garden. Interspersing structural plants such as Fatsia, Canna, Acanthus or even banana plants will give the eye something to focus on, and conversely, will make what is around them much more significant. Large leaves will add this structure, whereas grasses, bamboos, miscanthus and smaller foliaged plants such as Diosma or some smaller acacia varieties, will add movement and gentleness.

Ferns are also a fantastic addition to summer pots. They come in a large selection of foliage shapes and colours, and are unfortunately often forgotten. Like hosta (though not variegated ones, as they will lose their variegation), ferns are ideal for a shady spot. Paired with fuchsia or begonias or busy lizzies, they are the ideal plants for west or north facing pots.

An alternative way to create cohesion in your pot display is by repeating plants and colours. Focus on one main flower, and one main filler. For example, I think cream coloured calendulas, which now also come as low growing spreaders, are ideal for filling gaps. Cream is a warm, yet neutral colour which retreats into the background allowing other colours to pop. White on the other hand tends to leap forward, and should be avoided as a background colour. There are many books and articles written on the theory of colour and texture, but if you stick to the ‘less is more’ rule, you cannot go wrong!

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International day was a recipe for success

By Michelle CreanSpicy dishes and sweet treats were part of the experience in Killarney Community College as students took time out on Monday to celebrate a variety of different cultures. […]

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By Michelle CreanSpicy dishes and sweet treats were part of the experience in Killarney Community College as students took time out on Monday to celebrate a variety of different cultures.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department organised many events throughout the week but activity that took centre stage place was MasterChef for International Culture Day.

60 students from different countries took part by cooking dishes from their native countries. The judges had their work cut out for them but they finally agreed on a deserving winner.

First place went to Greece with a classic but simple Greek salad which was unbelievably well received by all. In second place was the Polish representatives who made mouth-watering pierogi dumplings while students from Germany produced a sweet cake from their own specific region and took third place.

First Year students got the opportunity to sample the food and learn about the dishes and cultures.

Stickers were worn on students’ jumpers from European Day of Languages and allowed students to speak with other students from their country and make new friends.

“It’s important to recognise and celebrate the ever-growing variety of different cultures within our society and our school setting,” Principal Stella Loughnane said.

“These opportunities provide a great scope for our students to learn and have a better understanding of these cultures while creating a greater respect for everyone’s backgrounds. I also got to taste a few of the dishes and even managed to snag a couple of recipes, they were that good.”

BREWING UP

Meanwhile it was a feel-good morning last Thursday at the school as students and staff brewed up for the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

They enjoyed many delicious treats kindly donated by staff all for an amazing cause. The Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning in aid of Kerry Hospice raised a whopping €650, this will no doubt be put to great use in supporting people in difficult times. This charity has an extra special meaning for Killarney Community College as they have had members of staff, who in challenging times, were supported by this outstanding service.

Ms Loughnane commended the efforts of staff involved adding that it was such a worthwhile cause.

“The college was delighted to host this event to raise funds for Kerry Hospice who provide so much support to our community at times of need, it is so important to give a little back.”

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Godley fourth in National Ploughing competition

By Sean Moriarty Four years on from his last appearance at the National Ploughing Championships, Shane Godley continues to move up the ranks in his age group. The Killarney Ploughing […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Four years on from his last appearance at the National Ploughing Championships, Shane Godley continues to move up the ranks in his age group.

The Killarney Ploughing Association member last represented Kerry in the Under 21s in 2018 when he placed sixth in the two-furrow conventional class in the national competition.

Last week at the 2022 National Ploughing Championships at Rathinaska, County Laois he placed fourth in the under 28 age group for the same category.

“Weather conditions for both the ploughing days was very good but the ground was very hard,” he said.

Club mate Mike Brosnan from Gortalea, finished 20th in the ‘Vintage Mounted’ class. They were the only two members of Killarney Ploughing Association to compete at the event.

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