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Campanulas are easy to grow

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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.

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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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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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