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There’s plenty of jobs to do in the garden




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

It seems that the longer the days get, the bigger the list of jobs in the garden gets!

Everything, including weeds, is experiencing a growth spurt. While, in principle, I am against using pesticides and herbicides, sometimes exceptions can be made for example, the gravel drive! There are a few products available which prevent regrowth, Weedol ‘Pathclear’, ‘Premazor’ and Resolva granular ‘Weed preventer’, all have enzymes which prevent seeds from germinating, giving you at least six months control.

Conifers always look their best at this time of year, especially those with brightly coloured shoots such as Picea 'Daisy’s White'. Top of the list, for me, has to be Abies koreana, a beautifully shaped conifer, with bright green new growth and bright purpley-blue cones. It is a slow grower and suitable for medium sized gardens as a specimen. Herbaceous plants are all making an appearance, and Candelabra Primulas are spectacular now, with their tall spikes of multi-coloured flowers. They grow particularly well in moist shady areas of the garden, and they are slug resistant.

For some weeks now bedding plants have been available, but to my mind it has been too early to plant them out. However, with the month turning and the weather heating up, it is safe enough to start planting out the bedding. Do keep an eye on the weather forecast and cover any annuals with garden fleece, or even some hessian.

Planting pots

There is a fantastic range of pots available to the gardener, ranging from enormous glazed pots, to very affordable high quality plastic ones. My favourites are still the basic terracotta pot, as I love the way they age. There are pots to suit every situation, from square fibreglass ones in which topiary looks stunning to brightly coloured stackable pots. When planting pots, we have always been told to put some drainage in the bottom, such as gravel. This works quite well, but the new way of thinking is to omit any drainage. When water draining through the pot suddenly finds itself with nothing to cling to, that is, when it hits the “drainage”, it actually stops moving downward, and in a bizarre way causes waterlogging! So, save yourself the trouble, and put your compost straight in! Mix in some water retaining gel, and slow release fertiliser, then water the pot before planting. The gel will swell so you can gauge whether you have put in enough compost. As a rule of thumb, I find three patio plants such as surfinias or bacopas, in a 14 inch basket is plenty. Fill in any gaps with trailing lobelia, or other bedding in trays. If you put too much into a basket or pot, the result will be some of the plants dying due to lack of space!

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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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