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Why have some flowers been forgotten?

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

It seems that every day new plants are created with a variety of colours and shapes of leaves/flowers… all with patents and rights attached so growers/inventors can make money, and consumers continue to buy.

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And designers also have the opportunity to make beautiful new labels to entice us. So many of these have short life spans, and cannot withstand our weather. They are hyped up, the market is flooded, the trend is set, and the customer buys. We are all victim to it, myself included.

However, what of the old plants, the reliable ones our grandparents grew? In the vegetable world they would be known as heirloom varieties. In the fashion industry it is called vintage. In the gardening world they are called boring! In recent years, as I see one thing after another failing, I am beginning to appreciate the boring plants!

Take Potentillas for example, they come in red, orange, cream, yellow, flower all summer from April onwards, need no pruning or dead-heading, and are generally disease free and hardy. Why have they been forgotten? ‘Yellow Queen’, ‘Primrose Beauty’, ‘Abbotswood white’ and ‘Red Ace’ are excellent varieties.

Spirea is another plant which is not as popular as it should be. ‘Snowmound’ has delicate bright green leaves on arching branches. In early spring it is covered in pure white flowers. ‘Goldmound’ has bright red new foliage which turns a lovely shade of gold, and flowers pink throughout the summer. ‘Golden Princess’ and ‘Little Princess’ are dwarf varieties.

Astilbe, also commonly called Spirea, is a perennial with spikes of red, pink, cream or white flowers. They are great fillers, and will grow in any soil. Slug and rabbit resistant - a must have. Shasta daisies are also reliable, however, go for the original single flowered one. All the funky, spiky, double types need care and attention and well-drained soil!

Cistus, or rockrose, is another old-fashioned plant which has fallen out of favour. I am not sure why, as it is compact, free-flowering, evergreen and easy to grow! There are many varieties to choose from, but mainly pink and white. It is advisable to cut it back by half after flowering, to prevent it going woody and too big.

It is not just in the world of shrubs and perennials that old favourites are pushed aside. Are you growing Alyssum? The white and blue borders, as they are known, are forgotten about! Also marigolds, and especially Tagetes, are not that popular but they keep midges away, and their scent is delicious. Pretty yellow flowers, they withstand wind, rain and heat. Ageratum always reminds me of my grandmother, and as such I always have it - but it is so hard to get it is almost rare! Salvia is another bedding plant which has been left by the wayside, but show me another red as vibrant!

So, even though new plants are exciting, it is worthwhile building a garden around tried and tested reliables. It is after 15 years of spending money, digging out and transplanting, disappointment and questioning myself as a gardener, that I come to you with this advice!

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Documents for driving abroad in Europe

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area. This […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area.

This area includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You also don’t need a green card for Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland.

If you are travelling with your vehicle to the named counties you will still need to bring:

Your certificate of motor insurance
Your vehicle licencing certificate
Your driving licence
Your passport

If you are taking a company owned, hired or borrowed vehicle, you will need a letter of authorisation from the registered owner along with the vehicle licencing certificate.

It is important to check the legal requirements for the country you are driving in. Some EU countries including France will require you to carry the following items:

Reflective jackets for each occupant of the vehicle
Warning triangle
Headlamp beam deflectors
Breathalyser test
Spare bulb kit
First Aid Kit (compulsory in Austria, France and Germany)

It is advisable to have your travel insurance details, European breakdown cover details, health insurance details and your European Health Insurance card in your possession. Travel safe.

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Flesk Fest promises to be a great evening of fun

By Michelle Crean Glenflesk GAA are planning a fun filled evening of top class entertainment. The Flesk Fest takes place on Saturday July 16 at 4pm in The Kerryway Steakhouse […]

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By Michelle Crean

Glenflesk GAA are planning a fun filled evening of top class entertainment.

The Flesk Fest takes place on Saturday July 16 at 4pm in The Kerryway Steakhouse & Bar.

Two exciting bands ‘All Folk’d Up’ and ‘Super Ceili’ will be playing and there’ll be plenty of fun and games and a delicious barbecue, raffle with some great prizes, and of course the ever popular Hang Tough Challenge!

“Please come out and support this great event! Tell your friends and we will make it a night to remember,” Seamus Healy from Glenflesk GAA said.

” Admission is only €15, and tickets are available from Mary McCarrick 087 7750773, Padraig O’Sullivan 087 0530384 or any club officer. They are also available in the Kerryway on the night.

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