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Conifers can be used anywhere in the garden

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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!

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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