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The perfect hanging basket is easy to create

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

When the weather is as glorious as it has been this last week, where do you start?

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The garden beckons, although, if I am honest, so do windows, floors and most other surfaces which come to light in the bright sunshine! However, this is a gardening column and not a householder's mope! So ... do you start with weeding, edging or mowing? Well, I would say, colour. We have had enough grey and now is the time for fun!

Starting in the borders, perennials are all showing signs of life. Don't worry if they seem slow, those in garden centres are generally cultivated in protective environments and are way ahead of their counterparts in the garden. Hardy osteospermums, campanulas, geraniums and aquilegias will all be showing colour. Invest now in lupins, penstemon, aconites and delphiniums, so they can really have a long growing season and give you months of colour. Most perennials enjoy sunshine and well drained soil, plants such as rudbeckia, echinacea and heleniums should be planted in such sites.

However, there are plenty of choices for the more common heavy, wet soils. Phyllis, or cape fuchsia, is a particularly hardy plant. Bearing long, tubular flowers in pinks, salmon or cream, it can grow to 1.2m high. It is semi-evergreen in the winter, and thrives in wind, wet and even shade. I recommend you give it a good trim every spring, both to encourage new, fresh growth, as well as keeping it in check. Astilbes are also ideal for trickier spots, their long flowering season of pale pink, crimson or cream plumes can brighten up any area. They will grow in the wettest of gardens, which makes them ideal for pond side planting too.

HANGING BASKETS

A question which I am asked every year without fail is how to ‘do a good basket’. The perfect hanging basket is easy to create if you follow a few simple guidelines. Using plastic or rattan type baskets will prevent them drying out very fast, and they are easier to manage. If you have wire baskets, I recommend coco liners. Always use a round piece of polythene (I usually cut a circle from the compost bag and use that) between liner and compost. You need not bother putting drainage holes in it – this way you prevent dripping when you water. Baskets dry out so quickly as they are open to all the elements such as sun and wind, however they rarely get rain.

For this reason using water retentive gel is helpful, but only to a certain extent. Diligent watering and feeding is key. Baskets contain so little compost yet support so many plants, that feeding is vital. Slow release fertiliser breaks down through dampness, however baskets dry out so often that it often does not get the chance to work properly. So, again, an all-purpose liquid feed is what I advise. Remember - avoid the temptation of too many plants in a basket! I find setting a theme is best when shopping for plants but it does not always stop me from buying too many though!

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​​Bursaries presented to schools at Lions Club open night

By Michelle Crean Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group. Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St […]

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By Michelle Crean

Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group.

Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St Brendan’s College to help support students in need.

It took place at their open night recently in the KDYS Youth Centre.

The night featured different exhibitions about Killarney Lions Club activities such as the Annual Christmas Food Appeal and the Kerry Clubs Fair.

“It was great that people made the effort to come and find out more what Killarney Lions Club does, despite the weather on the night. We are a voluntary group so community support is vital for activities such as our Christmas Food Appeal which will kick off very soon.”

The Killarney Lions Club, through its members, assists various groups and individuals in and around the community. Lions do this through voluntary activities, fundraising and by holding various types of events in support of a great many local causes.

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Staff celebrated for their long service

Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently. The event was held for all […]

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Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently.

The event was held for all team members of the Great Southern and Killarney Royal who have over 10 years of service, and was hosted by Michael Jacobi, Managing Director, Hayfield Family Collection and Mark Scally, Financial Controller, Hayfield Family Collection.

32 employees celebrated on the night, with the Great Southern represented by John Fitzgerald with 53 years of service, Martina O’Leary with 44 years of service and Kathleen Bhuiyan with 31 years of service. From Killarney Royal Joseph Hurley celebrated 37 years of service with John Harrington celebrating 32 years and Nuala Doolan celebrating 30 years.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to celebrate our long term staff members,” event host and Hayfield Family Collection Managing Director, Michael Jacobi, said.

“They have played such an integral part in achieving the high standards we are known to provide and are such familiar welcoming faces for our guests.”

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