Primula vulgaris ‘Tipperary Purple’
Plants have been chosen in many countries as symbols, representing specific geographic areas, while some countries have a country-wide floral emblem e.g. England (Rose), Scotland (Thistle), Spain (Carnation), and Canada (The Maple Leaf).
Of course the Shamrock (or trefoil) is widely used as an official symbol for Ireland, while the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) has officially and more recently been proclaimed the floral emblem of Australia.
Recently located new species of wild flowers have been named in honour of persons like the brilliant naturalist Sir David Attenborough, e.g. the new species discovered on the Brecon Beacons, now recognised as Attenborough’s Hawkweed (Hieracium attenboroughianum) and the new genus of flowering plant from the custard apple family, Annonaceae, discovered in the jungles of Gabon, now identified as Sirdavidia. One of three newly discovered species of a flowering plant endemic to the area around Mt. Madja, Antique Province, in the Philippines, has been named after Pope Francis.
‘Tipperary Purple’ Primrose
Very few, if any, cities, towns, areas or countries however can boast of a flower bearing its name with the exception of our beloved Co Tipperary.
The ‘Tipperary Purple’ Primrose bears a multitude of very distinct coloured dusky pinkish to purple flowers with sharp white dots at the base of the cleft in each petal, all set against an enlarged green cup-like structure which offers a protective layer around the flowering bud. Hardy to minus 25 degrees Celsius, this plant enjoys full sunshine in the spring but prefers shade in summer, thus being planted underneath deciduous trees or shrubs, in humus rich soil, is ideal.
The passed origins of this most attractive of Primroses (Primula vulgaris) today remains shrouded in mystery, but it is understood that it originated first here in Tipperary and hence the name.
A limited number of ‘Tipperary Purple’ Primroses can to be found today in O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre, Mill Rd, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Tel: (0504) 21636. Believe me O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre is well worth a visit presently, if just to view their magnificent mature wild flower garden, now a ‘must have’ if only to assist in reducing weekly mowing and other constant garden maintenance.
Who knows maybe one day some enterprising Vexillographer (Flag Maker) will manufacturer our Co. Tipperary flag not just bearing those proud blue and gold colours; but also bearing the small flower emblem of the ‘Tipperary Purple’ primrose.
“Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.” (Quote by Mahatma Gandhi)
It all began just one year ago to the very day, when Co Galway native Commandant Michael Walsh (Retd & former aide de camp to H.E. the President of Ireland) returned from his trek having completed his walk along the Ancient Pilgrims Route, known as “The Way of St James,” ending eventually in Santiago de Compostella Galicia in Spain.
“The Way of St. James” you will remember was one of the most important Christian pilgrimage routes taken during medieval times and legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
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This walk in the company of fellow fund raiser Yvonne Tyler had started in Holycross, Co Tipperary on Sunday 7th of April 2013 and had finished on July 11th of the same year. The original goal of Michael and Yvonne’s three month trek, was to increase an awareness of Autism not just locally but nationally here in Ireland and highlight not just its effect on family members and persons with Autism, but also to raise much needed funding for two specific Autism related charities, namely the Tús Nua Autism Residential and Resource Centre here in Thurles and Cottage Autism Network based in Co Wexford.
To use a somewhat military phrase, possibly used on occasion by Michael in the past; prior to his retirement from army life was “The mission has been accomplished,” and one year to the day, on July 11th 2014 to mark his safe return, two new ‘Sensory Gardens’ have been opened here in the magnificent Rehab Resource Centre situated at Stradavoher in Thurles.
For those less familiar with the concept of a sensory garden, same is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. The stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the correct use of materials that engage one’s senses of smell, sight, touch and of course sound. These types of gardens are popular with and extremely beneficial to young adults who have sensory issues, including disabilities which include Autism.
Unveiling the gardens to the public for the first time to the Tipperary public, M/s Colleen O’Sullivan (Manager Thurles Resources Centre) pointed out that this wonderful new asset could not have been achieved without the collaboration of wonderful caring people from the backgrounds of business, charitable societies, family, friends, neighbours and her own greatly valued and caring staff members. M/s O’Sullivan was particularly complimentary of students at Thurles Community Training Centre who assisted in the construction of the landscaping and also generously donated a garden bench, latter professionally constructed by the students themselves, during recent woodwork classes.
Colleen’s remarks were once again echoed by Michael Walsh who thanked specifically; Mr Frank Alley and his Dundrum Nursery’s Team, Thurles Rotary Club, Thurles Lions Club, Thurles Community Training Centre, L.I.T Thurles, Lisheen Mines, Colaiste Eile, Upperchurch and Holycross Communities, Sr Eilis Bergin, Trica Treacy, Mary B.Lanigan-Ryan, the Rita and Matty Stapleton Nursery’s, the friends and families of those attending the Resource Centre and the many volunteers who turned up on late evenings to ensure the garden’s transformation from previous waste ground.
A basket containing Prayer Flags (Ribbons) inspired by Sr Eilis Bergin and walking companion Yvonne Tyler was also on hand in true ‘Tibetan’ tradition. Those in attendance were invited to tie a ribbon to espalier training wires, latter bearing sweet smelling Jasmine, as a reminder of the call to prayer for the future welfare of all humans everywhere, working together and thus encouraging the traits of Virtue, Goodness, Healing and Happiness.
The next stage to be progressed in this garden will be a special water feature. Same is currently being specially designed by Tipperary renowned sculptor Philip Quinn, Holycross, Tipperary.
Following the unveiling, visitors were entertained to refreshments specially provided for this truly most special of occasions.
An old artillery shell has been destroyed by means of a controlled explosion yesterday in Tipperary town.
An Irish Army Bomb Disposal Team have rendered safe an old military projectile, understood to be an old artillery shell, in Tipperary Town yesterday (May 12th).
The suspicious object had been reported by a member of the public to local Gardaí.
The projectile, which was badly corroded, was located in the garden area of a private residence. A number of road closures were put in place and some nearby properties were also evacuated in the interests of safety.
The object was examined in the garden and was identified as an artillery shell before being removed to a secure military area where it was later destroyed by means of a controlled explosion, shortly after 5.00pm.
The Army later confirmed that despite the age and poor condition of the device, it still contained explosive material and therefore did pose a potential threat.
Various explanations as to its origins are rumoured locally, including the fact that same may have been once removed from the Tipperary Military Barracks, built between 1874 & 1878, later to become the headquarters of the 7th. & 8th. Battalions of the Royal Irish Fusiliers between 1914/18.
Thurles “Grow It Yourself,” (GIY) will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 8th next, here at the Cabragh Wetlands Centre, Thurles, beginning sharp at 7.30pm.
Kay Hanrahan from Thurles Farmers Market will be there to give a talk and demonstration on the topic; “Wheatgrass and Live food.”
As always new comers and old GIY members are welcome to wander in, with Tea/Coffee available to all at the end of the meeting, not to mention the usual one to one gardening advice and friendly chat.
Keep in mind that vegetables can be grown on most soils (light, medium or heavy) provided they are well drained, so no excuses please.
While Spring may have gotten off to a slow start, remember also there is a huge amount of satisfaction to be experienced from growing at least some part of the food you eat and a well organised garden or an allotment is a huge asset to any family.
Who knows, maybe your vegetable growing, this year, will rapidly develop into the most absorbing of hobbies.
Kathleen Murphy Reports:
Thurles Grow It Yourself (GIY) are having their March monthly meeting on Thursday 14th March in the Cabragh Wetlands Centre at 7.30pm sharp.
Guest Speaker at next Thursdays meeting is Margaret Troy of ‘Troy and Edwards Garden Design and Landscaping,’ Cashel. Her topic of discussion for this meeting will be ‘Tree Pruning.’
A tree needs pruning for a variety of reasons; e.g. to remove diseased or storm-damaged branches, to shape same for design purposes, to remove obtrusive branches, to thin the crown thus permitting new growth and better air circulation or simply to reduce the height of the tree itself.
Fruit tree pruning, in particular, covers a number of horticultural techniques to control growth, to remove dead or diseased wood and of course stimulate the future formation of flowers and fruit buds for the coming year.
This upcoming GIY March meeting will therefore be of immense interest to many Tipperary amateur & professional gardeners, as Margaret shares (dare I say) the gleaned fruits of her large store of knowledge.
Tea/coffee will, as always, be available at the end of this March meeting and with same refreshments will come the usual friendly chat and the other gardening shared advice.