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Campanulas are easy to grow




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

We are spoilt for choice and colour at this time of year – perennials, annuals, shrubs, all come into their own. If we were to single out two, Alstroemeria and Campanula are real value for money.


Alstroemeria are also known as Peruvian lilies, and until recently we really only saw them in floral bouquets. However, they are now available in abundance and are well worth investing in. Flowering freely throughout the summer, they come in whites, yellows, oranges, reds and pinks.

There are tall varieties and dwarf ones, those with red foliage, and those with variegated foliage. All do well in our weather, but do not like to be waterlogged in the winter. The dwarf varieties are fantastic for pots, staying at a height of about 15cm.

Campanulas are a well-known garden staple, and are available in every size and shape you may need. Tall varieties include C. latifolia, a broadleaved variety. It reaches up to five feet, and has very large blue or purple bells. C. alliariifolia is also a tall variety, with elegant spires of pure white bells. It is a beauty! C. trachelium is also tall with simple mauve flowers, but ‘Bernice’ is a bit shorter - 60cm - with masses of double mauve flowers. Its name, trachelium, derives from trachelos, meaning throat. It was once used as a remedy for sore throats. C. ‘Kent Belle’ is a very popular campanula grown in many gardens. It has large bells in a rich shade of purply-blue. C. persicifolia grows to 80cm and is possibly the truest blue of all campanulas. It has delicate bright green foliage. ‘Boule de neige’, is, as the name suggests, pure white and very pretty!

A mid-sized campanula is C. punctate, and two to look out for or rather seek out, are ‘Cherry Bells’ and ‘Pantaloons’. The former has rich burgundy bells, the latter double bells in mauve with purple spots gracing the bottom frill. C. glomerata is a popular choice also, bearing tight, globe shaped clusters of flowers.

Campanulas really come into their own as ground cover, rockery plants and wall plants. C. portenschlagiana is an old variety, one which is ideal for rockeries, and which self seeds and finds a stronghold in any crevice. It has rich deep blue cup shaped flowers and a mat forming growth habit. C. garganica is another low grower, with azure blue star shaped flowers. It is evergreen in Kerry.

In general, campanulas are easy to grow. They are native to alkaline regions within Europe, and I have noticed that adding a little horticultural lime produces better plants. I recommend horticultural lime as opposed to builders lime for only one reason – it is granulated and this has a slow release action. Builder's lime, being dust, leaches out of the soil fairly quickly.

Well-drained soil is essential, and sunlight is certainly preferable! Repeat flowering can be encouraged by cutting back the plant after flowering. If you are hoping to establish plants in a wall, it is best to plant them in the crevices in autumn, giving them a chance to establish before summer.

Most campanulas are sold when in flower, so be patient, buy the plants, repot into bigger pots, then in October divide them and put them into the wall for a spectacular show next spring!

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Arrival of Born is great news for Killarney

One of Ireland’s leading fashion retailers is to open a major new store in Killarney next week. In what is a very significant and welcome commercial boost for the town, […]




One of Ireland’s leading fashion retailers is to open a major new store in Killarney next week.

In what is a very significant and welcome commercial boost for the town, fashion giant Born is to set up in a 4,734sq ft store at Killarney Outlet Centre.

The business will occupy the former Edinburgh Woollen Mills units, numbered 13 to 15, on the ground floor of the landmark commercial premises.

The bright and breezy new store will open at 11am on Thursday, April 6 with free goodie bags for the first 30 customers to make a purchase.

An added attraction is that there will be a sensational offer of 20 percent off everything on the opening day.

With a reputation for making fashion accessible and fun, Born opened its first premises in 2009 and now boasts 23 stores nationwide, as well as offering a top class online option.

Born is dedicated to bringing fabulous fashion at affordable prices to style conscious ladies and men who love to look great and offers the very latest trends for less.

Alongside popular brand names, Born will also specialise in their two in-house brands for ladies, Emily & Me and Luna, and their exclusive Phoenix brand for men ensuring that customers can pick up something different that no other high street store will have.

“We listen to our customers and deliver on style,” a spokesperson said.

“Each day we’re inspired to be the best we can. We are focused and committed on giving our customers the experience they deserve, both in-store and online.”

Killarney Outlet Centre Manager, Paul Sherry, said the arrival of Born is a great news story for Killarney and it will be a major attraction going forward.

“They see the huge potential in the town and it will give locals and visitors a whole new retail experience based on quality, choice and value,” he said.

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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