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Begonias liven up any display

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

While it is still early for planting out bedding plants, geraniums, petunias and the like, it is an ideal time for planning!

In the last few years, begonias have become very popular – understandably, as they flower well into the autumn, certainly until the first frosts. Their bright colours liven up any displays, though they really look their best when planted in groups of just begonias, as they tend to overcrowd smaller plants. There is still time to plant your own bulbs, which is a cost effective way to a grand display! Begonia corms are slightly unusual in that you plant the depressed, or dimpled, side up. Begonias are generally the last plants to be available in garden centres, as they are frost sensitive, and take quite a while to grow from the bulbs. I have mine sat since February in a warm(ish) shed, and not a sign of growth yet!

Trailing geraniums

For hanging baskets my favourites are trailing geraniums. I love the range of colours they come in, from white with pink stripes to burgundy and bright red. In my own schemes I always feel that they blend in with everything, not growing out of proportion but maintaining a nice tidy shape. Trailing geraniums are also called Ivy Leaf Geraniums, or Swiss Geraniums – though the Swiss ones have a smaller leaf and trail longer than the ivy leaved ones. Swiss Geraniums are quite difficult to come by, but absolutely worth it. The main reason I extol trailing geraniums is that they are weather proof, not drying out too much in the wind, and impervious to rain. The main reason I would say not to choose them is that perhaps they do not trail far enough to suit some displays. On the other hand, window boxes will be unlikely to topple with the weight! Surfinias, or trailing petunias, are the number one choice for length. Trailing quite a distance they give a beautiful show, but do need caring for. I always recommend a total feed as opposed to a tomato feed, as the foliage needs fertilising too. My go to is Phostrogen, as a feed I find it excellent, but there is such a range of feeds available now it would be difficult to try them all out! The Irish seaweed feeds are very rich in nutrients, and create jobs along the Irish coast, so definitely worth trying, and the likes of Miracle Gro has been tried and tested over the years too.

Surfinias never really feature around my house as I find they do not cope with the wind well at all, but they are second to none for colour!
Bacopa, with its pretty white, mauve and pink flowers is a great space filler, as is Bidens with its bright yellow daisies. Marguerites are great upright plants, benefiting from frequent feeding and dead heading. The pastel shades of daisies are a perfect foil for the brighter colours of petunias, lobelia or marigolds!

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Leona named PRO of the year

By Sean Moriarty She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts. The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named […]

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By Sean Moriarty

She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts.

The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named Leona as its Public Relations Officer of the Year at an awards ceremony at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Friday night last.

Leona has been the PRO for Kerry GAA for the last five years but will have to step down this year due to County Board rules.

“I was speechless, it was wonderful to get PRO of the Year but I am only as good as the team around me and this success is attributed to the hard work of the entire PR team at Kerry GAA,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

As well as her busy schedule managing the media affairs for the Kerry County Board, Leona is also principal at Cullina National School in Beaufort.

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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

By Natalya Krasnenkova On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”. That is why Ukrainians who […]

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”.

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine’s win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

“After my country’s victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn’t believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us,” Iryna Melnychuk said.

“Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end – 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!” – the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners ‘Stefania’.

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