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Conifers can be used anywhere in the garden




By Debby Looney, gardening expert 

Plants are like clothes – they come into fashion, they fade into obscurity, and then they come back with a makeover!

However, one plant, or rather, a whole family, seems to have been forgotten about by many gardeners, which is a shame. I am talking about conifers. The entire world of conifers is there to be treasured, valued and planted, yet I see few people buying them! In my opinion conifers form the backbone of a garden. I could not do without them, they fill spaces, give consistent colour be it as a background to flowering plants in the summer or feature plants in the winter, and, very importantly, they are excellent for use in flower arrangements! Being on the whole, slow growing, self shaping and evergreen, they provide excellent structure and a feeling of continuity and flow, especially in a large garden.

Conifers come in every size, shape, colour and texture imaginable, and can be used in any part of the garden, be it a border, rockery or arboretum.

So, in this vast landscape of conifers, which to choose?

Go for the unusual! Too many people think the word conifer is synonymous with Leylandii – the hedging palm as it is often referred to. Forget about them - unless you need a fast growing hedge! Let us start with tees, and work down to miniature shrubs.

Dawn Redwood

Metasequoia, better known as the Dawn Redwood, is one of my favourite trees. It is native to China and was reported as an extinct species in 1940. Luckily small clusters of living trees were subsequently found and cultivated. It is a fast growing tree initially, but slows down when it reaches about 10m. They have feathery bright green foliage which they lose in the winter, and a scaly orange bark.

Abies koreana

Abies koreana is a small tree and an excellent choice as a specimen. They have dark green foliage and violet coloured cones. Abies koreana keeps a perfectly conical shape and is quite slow growing. It's ideal as a centre piece and it is the perfect Christmas tree for outdoor lights in the festive season.

Pine trees

A hardy tree is the Pine tree which provide fantastic shelter and generally does not mind waterlogged soil. Pinus nigra, the European black pine, is an easy to grow, reliable tree. It is dome shaped and a deep green, with mid-sized cones. For anyone who is looking for a mid-sized shrub I would recommend Pinus mugo, or pumila, both dwarf pine trees. They are hardy, and do not grow tall - ever! They bear small cones and can be cut back without it affecting their shape.

Daisy White

Picea glauca or ‘Daisy White’ is a small cone shaped ornamental shrub whose new shoots in the spring are a bright pale green, almost white. It is traditionally used in pots or as a small focal point. Picea glauca ‘Sander’s Blue’ is a new favourite of mine. It has slate blue needles and does best in a sunny spot. The colour really is stunning.

I have only touched on the different conifers out there, but I hope I have inspired you to give one a spot in your garden!



The actor to play Michael Collins revealed

Killarney Musical Society has revealed that the renowned Keith Dwyer Greene will take the lead role in ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’. The society is in the final stages of […]




Killarney Musical Society has revealed that the renowned Keith Dwyer Greene will take the lead role in ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’.

The society is in the final stages of preparation  for  its March 5 to 7 performances at the INEC.

Final rehearsals are in full flight at the Heights Hotel and earlier this week Keith Dwyer Greene arrived in full costume.

He had spent the day with the army’s The Band 1 Brigade of The Irish Defence Forces, where he is a full-time flautist.

He is also co-owner and founder of The Bellevue Academy of Performing Arts.

Keith trained in music and musical theatre in University College Cork and The Cork School Of Music.

“He has performed with many musical societies and had many great leading roles. He worked with the late Bryan Flynn who wrote the book, music and lyrics of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’. He has great admiration for him and says what he did with this show is genius. Keith says he adores the role of Michael Collins,” explained PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

Flynn’s book, music and lyrics can only be secured by two musical society’s each year.
Michael Collins A Musical Drama is a moving, dynamic, resonant piece of musical theatre.

It is the dramatization of a changing period of Irelands history. It brings to life The 1916 Rising, The War Of Independence and The Civil War.

“At the same time it is telling an intimate, human love story and how love and politics inflamed the period. This musical drama has war, heroism, love, villainy, tragedy and triumph all wrapped up. It has a distinctly Irish voice. Such numbers as ‘Fly the flag of Freedom ‘ will have the hairs standing on the back of your neck and ‘Every Heart Awaken ‘ will bring tears to your eyes,” added Linda.

Tickets available at The INEC box office and from a pop-up box office at The Laurels Bar, Market Cross from 12 noon to 4pm on Friday and Saturday this week.


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Gleeson Dental now offering facial aesthetics

Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics. It is the latest offering from the town centre practice. Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental […]



Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics.

It is the latest offering from the town centre practice.

Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental surgeon 27 years ago.

She previously worked in England and Cork before returning home to Killarney in 2009 to take over her father’s dental practice with her sister Katie.

“More recently, I decided to pursue my keen interest in facial aesthetics. Hence, I embarked on an intensive training course,” she told the Killareny Advertiser.
“This mentorship is under the guidance of Dr Sheila Li, a Harley Street based dentist with over 10 years’ experience in facial aesthetics. Every year following an interview process, Sheila takes on six trainees and I was lucky enough to get this amazing training opportunity.”
The course is a year-long process involving in-depth learning and hands-on clinical training days in Dr Sheila’s Harley Street clinic.
The course, also, extends to treatment planning cases with Dr Sheila, thus allowing access to her vast knowledge when planning treatments for Dr Gleeson’s patients.
“Therefore, I am now able to offer a vast array of facial aesthetic treatments at Gleeson Dental. These treatments include the use of Botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to this, Botox has a wide range of additional applications, including the treatment of tooth grinding, headaches, gummy smiles, neck bands and excessive underarm sweating,” she added.
Dermal filler treatments are, also, available to treat issues related to volume loss while skin booster treatments such as Sunekos and Profhilo can be used to regenerate and rehydrate tired looking skin.
Facial aesthetics may conjure up images of over-filled expressionless people but Susan hopes to change people’s view of it.


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