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Arbutus trees are iconic in Killarney

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert 

Something I have been asked quite a bit is "are there any nice evergreen trees?" – by which I think people mean - not conifers!

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At this time of year, when trees are losing their leaves, it is nice to have a bit of height in the garden which has foliage. Also in terms of shelter, it is good to have a leafy screen. This does not necessarily mean a high conifer hedge.

Here are a few suggestions:

A great favourite of mine is Eucryphia. It can grow to about five metres, is evergreen with dark green leathery leaves. I might have mentioned it before, as it is also ideal in a small garden, it retains a narrow shape and flowers almost continuously, but mainly in the autumn. There is also a pink Eucryphia, called ‘Ballerina’, and a completely white one called ‘Rostrevor’.

Arbutus trees are iconic in Killarney, but also a beautiful tree for a larger garden. Well-known, they have white pendant flowers and are graced by crimson, strawberry shaped fruits in the autumn. The bark is a beautiful reddish brown, and it has a wide, spreading habit. It can also be clipped to grow as a large shrub. Similarly, Myrtle is a fragrant small tree/large shrub with small, pointy evergreen leaves, white flowers and a striking chestnut coloured bark. It flowers in late summer/early autumn, its fragrance is spicy and makes you think of Christmas! There is a variegated form also, Myrtus communis variegate.

Holm oak, Quecus ilex, if you have the space, is a majestic, large, evergreen tree. It can grow to 20 metres, and is ideal for seaside gardens. It has an unusually cracked black bark. It copes with pollution and salt, and when it is established, is very hardy. Quercus suber, the cork bark oak, is another evergreen oak tree. Its bark is a pale brown, also cracked, from which cork is made. It is not quite as hardy as the holm oak, but it is an unusual tree to have!

Podocarpus macrophyllus is technically a conifer, but so pretty I feel it needs a mention! It has longish bright green leaves and a graceful growing habit. Easy to trim and happy to be grown in any shape whatsoever, it has been used as bonsai, espalier or lollipop – as well as hedging! It is delicate looking, and not at all conifer like!

Eucalyptus trees are definitely my go to plant, they seem to grow anywhere. They tolerate extremely wet soil, dry soil, clay, sand, wind, shelter – an all rounder! They respond well to repeated cutting. I have some which I keep as large shrubs – they give great shelter. If cut often, their leaves also remain fresh and blue. Ideal for flower arranging, shelter and colour, I cannot recommend them enough. Of course, if you have the space and time, a mature eucalyptus is something special. Most of them have a peeling bark which comes off in long spirals, leaving a tiger striped surface beneath. An underused plant!

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Get the gift of amazing skin this Christmas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set. Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set.

Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether you already know your hyaluronic acids, vitamins or are a skincare newbie, a Sothys skincare product will make the perfect gift. They are beautifully packaged and have great offers, e.g. half price serums.

Gift set 1: Youthful Skin hydration duo; €115, with hyaluronic acid. It’s a cream and serum set.

This rich, protective cream is recommended for dry, ageing skin. The patented formula ensures maximum hydration by forming a protective film on the skin and delivering hyaluronic acid via a cosmetics patch over an eight hour period. This highly effective intensive rehydrating serum is used to provide an immediate source of deep hydration and a lasting restore moisture. The skin will look and feel regenerated and smothered with an increase of up to 60% hydration and a notable reduction of transepidermal water loss.

Gift set 2 : Wrinkle specific set €128 (saving €50 purchase the cream and receive the serum half price).

This helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles maintaining the skin tone and preserve an even complexion.

Gift set 3: Radiance Eye cream €62 or cyro eye roll-on (receive two free express eye patches).

For wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, the cream visibly combats everyday eye contour concerns that can leave eyes looking dull and tired. Containing peptides for anti-wrinkle action and active ingredients to protect from blue light and to increase radiance.

Gift set 4: Detox Energie €122 (saving €44.50)

This is an amazing set; detoxifying, anti-pollution, rebalancing the microbiome and helps boost intracellular energy, and the skin regains it vitality and looks younger.

These are a few beautifully presented gift sets of our cosmetical professional skincare line. You can order by calling in or over the phone. For more information call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Killorglin mother and son pen poetry book

By Michelle Crean What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son. The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just […]

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By Michelle Crean

What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son.

The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just in time for Christmas.

And all proceeds will be donated to Comfort for Chemo, an organisation whose mission it is to build and equip a chemotherapy unit for the people of Kerry.

The charity is close to the young author’s heart as Conor himself was undergoing cancer treatment while writing this book.

With original poetry by the mother and son, the book also has another separate family connection as the talented illustrators are local artists, father-daughter duo Con and Rochelle Lucey, with each page awash with colour and beautiful drawings.

“I know first-hand how important it is to have a comfortable environment while receiving chemotherapy,” Conor said.

‘A Very Kerry Year’ is currently available for €12 from The Crystal Cave and the Reeks District Tourist Office in Killorglin and will soon be available in many more outlets throughout the county.

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