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Snowdrops and daffodils making an early appearance this year

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Winter is most definitely still with us, but these bright days have a wonderful optimism about them.

The garden is waking up, and many plants are starting to grow shoots already – I am looking out at my roses and see a haze of green.

There should always be colour in the garden, and it is easy to achieve this if you plant the right plants!
Bulbs are the obvious splashes of colour, with snowdrops showing, and daffodils making a very early appearance this year.
Muscari is about to flower, with crocus quick to follow. I have hundreds of Crocus ‘Romance' already in flower, creating a carpet of pale yellow.
I planted these just in front of our beehives as an early source of pollen for the bees, and any other pollinators out on a sunny day. Tulips will flower a bit later, along with hyacinths, which are my favourite! If you did not put down bulbs in Autumn, September or October, then do not despair! There are lots of bulbs available potted up, and these will come back year after year.
In my opinion, every garden should have at least a few of the following plants. At the front of any border, there should be a (few) Pulmonaria.
Growing only to about 20cm, they start to flower in February and continue right through March.
The brightest blue, ‘Blue Ensign’, an uplifting pink ‘Raspberry Splash’ and a deep purple, aptly named ‘Dark Vader’, are among my favourites.
Their foliage is also very pretty, with silvery splotches on a dark green leaf.
Winter flowering Heathers will continue to flower throughout the spring, I found the varieties available this year to be very varied. However, ‘Kramer’s Red' is still one of my go to's - it is reliable, it does not get too scraggly and is early to flower. Heather, along with pulmonaria, are also excellent sources of nectar for our winged friends. Apart from flowering, many Heathers also produce brightly coloured new foliage, such as ‘Spring Torch’.

Eranthis hyemalis, or winter aconite, is a pretty yellow flower, which happily naturalises under trees.
The epithet ‘hyemalis’ means winter-flowering, and indeed, this plant flowers during the coldest months.
Forsythia is a common shrub, flowering yellow before the leaves appear. I am not a great fan of the large varieties, ‘Sugar Baby’ is a cute variety that stays small and is very pretty tucked away in a border. Hamamelis, or Witch Hazel, is also an early flowering plant mine unfurled its spidery auburn flowers on Christmas day, well, I passed by it on the way to the wormery, and imagined it had started flowering as a gift to me!
Certainly, its scent should make Hamamelis a must-have, a mixture of vanilla and jasmine, which, on a sunny day is discernible from quite a distance. The flowers curl back into themselves when it is close to free6, to prevent frost damage. Nature is so amazing isn’t it?
The only drawback is the cost of this plant, you would expect to pay €20 for what looks like a twig in a pot.

The first few years are slow going, but once it reaches a certain point, it starts to grow and thicken.
It is not fussy and tolerates any soil, as well as wind. Some varieties to look out for are: ‘Early Bright’, one of the first to flower, bearing bright yellow blooms. ‘Kohanki red’ has orangey-red flowers, and its foliage rivals any reds in the autumn. ‘Aphrodite’ has bronze coloured flowers, and is a nice sized shrub for a medium-sized garden. ‘Diane' has bright orange flowers, and possibly the best scent of all.

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Camera Club ready to celebrate its 21st anniversary

Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members. Next Thursday night they will be […]

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Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members.

Next Thursday night they will be holding an Open Night at 7.30pm in the Plaza Suite at The Brehon Hotel.

The club meets every other Thursday at 7.30pm and is open to everyone with an interest in photography, including a junior membership category for 16 to 17-year-olds.

“Whether you’re a complete beginner, or you already know your way around a camera, everyone is welcome,” Deirdre Donohue from the club said.

The club activities include speaker nights, outings, project nights and competitions. At part of the club’s 21st celebrations they will be mounting an exhibition at Killarney House in late October.

“As well as a warm welcome, including tea and biscuits, the Open Night will feature a presentation, by professional photographer Micheál O’Sullivan, of his wonderful landscapes, so come along for a lovely evening of chat and photography!”

If you have any queries, you can contact the club secretary via email at secretary@killarneycameraclub.ie.

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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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