Signs of summer

Ruby_Double tulip 'foxtrot'

Posted on: 11th April, 2017

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

Summer’s on its way: first swallows seen on March 30 – one of our earliest sightings.  Here’s hoping they (and us) have a better summer than last year.

Chiff chaff’s and willow warblers are about too, lovely sounds of summer…

It’s hard sometimes to get work done, there is a little competitiveness here, who saw what first or heard this first. There’s the cuckoo and the grasshopper warbler still to come too.

I live in flower seasons and not particular months and I’m in double narcissus, double tulips and hyacinth heaven now but I’m dreaming in Roses and Dahlias. We’ve gone all out this year with new varieties and can’t to wait to see these new beauties in full bloom. I did curtail my bulb ordering this year and I’m so glad of it now. Our new rose tunnel went where we had our outdoor daff beds and some of them still need to get back in the ground (about 2,000 of them). It didn’t stop them flowering though bless them.

We are hoping to have an open event towards the end of July this year ( I know I said that last year too) to share all our changes and celebrate our new ventures and show its not too difficult to grow your own. There is nothing like the taste of fresh produce that you have harvested from you own garden.

In keeping with our streamlining, we don’t grow the large amount of varieties that we used to anymore, we have refined our product list and are growing fewer varieties but more of each one and they have to double up and be edible as well as being a good cut flower. We are still failing abysmally to photograph our progress so you’ll have to take our word for it.

On the college front, I’m finishing an assignment on the products I was hoping to create when I started back in September, well hasn’t that changed! We were hoping to bring our beautiful allergy-free pesto to market but when I researched it and did the figures, it turns out it isn’t commercially viable, the cost of producing it to the standard we would have ourselves just isn’t possible. I have so much respect for producers of quality food and really we need to be asking why some food is so cheap and not why real food is so expensive because it simply isn’t. I’m learning how some food is processed and frankly it’s not worth eating. My advice is that if you can go to your local farmers market and know where your food is coming from and who and how it’s grown we would all be healthier in the long run. That kind of education could start in primary schools and would benefit our physical and mental health from an early age.

We have been plagued with the fox this week; it’s disturbing to see them out hunting during the day especially at this time of year. Gracie has run them off every day but still they come back – this kind of desperation at this time of year is a little worrying. If they have to take such risks now so early in the season what does that say about our ecology and the balance of nature? We need to remember we are all in this together.

On a happier note it’s April and the ground is warming up so get out there and start planting and in a few months you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labour and feeling fitter and healthier. Enjoy it all.

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West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
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19th April, 2017  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
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19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
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13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

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