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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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​​Bursaries presented to schools at Lions Club open night

By Michelle Crean Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group. Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St […]

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By Michelle Crean

Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group.

Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St Brendan’s College to help support students in need.

It took place at their open night recently in the KDYS Youth Centre.

The night featured different exhibitions about Killarney Lions Club activities such as the Annual Christmas Food Appeal and the Kerry Clubs Fair.

“It was great that people made the effort to come and find out more what Killarney Lions Club does, despite the weather on the night. We are a voluntary group so community support is vital for activities such as our Christmas Food Appeal which will kick off very soon.”

The Killarney Lions Club, through its members, assists various groups and individuals in and around the community. Lions do this through voluntary activities, fundraising and by holding various types of events in support of a great many local causes.

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Staff celebrated for their long service

Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently. The event was held for all […]

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Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently.

The event was held for all team members of the Great Southern and Killarney Royal who have over 10 years of service, and was hosted by Michael Jacobi, Managing Director, Hayfield Family Collection and Mark Scally, Financial Controller, Hayfield Family Collection.

32 employees celebrated on the night, with the Great Southern represented by John Fitzgerald with 53 years of service, Martina O’Leary with 44 years of service and Kathleen Bhuiyan with 31 years of service. From Killarney Royal Joseph Hurley celebrated 37 years of service with John Harrington celebrating 32 years and Nuala Doolan celebrating 30 years.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to celebrate our long term staff members,” event host and Hayfield Family Collection Managing Director, Michael Jacobi, said.

“They have played such an integral part in achieving the high standards we are known to provide and are such familiar welcoming faces for our guests.”

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