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Plant with the seasons for year round colour

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert 

Is your garden looking a little woebegone at the moment? There is absolutely no reason for it! The best gardens, in my opinion, are those planted over a period of years.

A mistake which many of us make is buying and planting our entire garden in one weekend. It then happens that it looks fantastic for one month of the year, and if you want colour later you are stuck with bedding plants. Be patient, and plant with the seasons!

I would recommend conifers and heathers at this time of year. There are so many dwarf conifers available at the moment; Thuja Golden Tuffet and Juniperus Blue Star are two that immediately spring to mind. There are some lovely podocarpus varieties too, ‘box of chocolates' is a lovely auburn colour. If you interplant with colourful heathers, or evergreen grasses such as Festuca Glauca (blue) or Carex Red Rooster (red), you will have a beautiful display all year round.

Smaller gardens

There are also beautiful tall conifers available which are suitable for a relatively small garden as they remain narrow. For example, Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’ or Juniperus ‘Sky Rocket’ are both types of juniper which remain skinny, they are also a beautiful blue colour. Cupressus sempervirens - the Italian cypress, or Pencil cypress is also an excellent choice when space is an issue. These are also beautiful as structural plants, a cluster of three or five in a corner with rocks/groundcover/ferns underneath can look striking. Also they are useful in corners, or to draw the eye in a particular direction. Remember the neighbours when planting though as it's a tree which will grow tall!

Catkins cannot and should not be forgotten about at this time of year; the black stemmed willow, Salix nigricans, has silver catkins which shimmer in the sunshine, and Salix Mount Aso which has very large fluffy pink catkins. Hazels or Corylus have long yellow tassels which bring cheer even on the darkest day!

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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