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Bee Friendly Flowers For Liberty Square, Thurles.

“The Town Centre First policy aims to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.”Quote taken from Tipperary Co. Council’s commitment.

Without warning, they struck early this morning. Up came the long ago deceased ‘Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’. Having tossed a coin, left behind was the still barely surviving small group of rather delicate frail and confused, low-maintenance ‘Potentilla Dasiphora fruticosa ‘White Lady‘; the latter well-known for being resistant to attacks by rabbits in rural areas. (Very important to a rural town like Thurles with a large rabbit population).

Yes, I am talking about that large piece of wasteland, (some in their innocence may have called it a flowerbed), located centre on Liberty Square, Thurles, which for well over a year, has replaced some 20 car-parking spaces, thus driving consumers out of the town centre, to surrender their purchasing power to well-known German supermarket chains.

Here at Thurles.Info we decided, (following on in true Tipperary Co. Council fashion), to employ a landscape consultant and I might add not just any English fly-by-night consultancy.
Regardless of expense we sought the services of that long established landscape consultancy firm of ‘Root In The Hole Ltd,’ ©.

In the interests of fair play they decided to invite the local Thurles community, asking them to submit what they would like to see planted on this waste ground and in keeping with Tipperary Co. Council tradition, those who forwarded submissions were ignored on the basis that elected Co. Councillors and their Council Officials know best.

After the area was surveyed by two top gardening experts, employed by ‘Root In The Hole Ltd’©, same forwarded their findings/recommendations in the form of photographic evidence, shown in the video above.
In Root In The Hole’s report, which we won’t be publishing for fear of embarrassing certain individuals. Suffice is to say; sentences containing text like “Worst landscaping ever observed to date”, appear at least 6 times in the report, and a concluding phrase suggests that the ‘Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’, at the very least may have been recovered, having been first dumped from a garden centre, on waste ground, before being planted in Liberty Square.

Then again I suppose we could always cement this piece of waste ground over completely and paint a bird on it.

Readers might wonder about the reference to the 18th century weighing scales in our video; same located today in Co. Galway.
This same weighing scales type, which also was used on Liberty Square, sitting on a quadropod, during this same historical period, has now been located and can be made available to Thurles Municipal District Council.
Same could be erected in the centre of this flower bed, to remind us and any lost foreign tourist, of our humble beginnings when, prior to our Liberty Square down-grading, we had a once busy flourishing town centre.


Rare Pre 1930 Daffodils Available In O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre, Thurles, Tomorrow.

It was on a bright, late summer’s day, ‘Lady Moore’, in the form of three small daffodil bulbs (Note all daffodils are members of the genus Narcissus), emerged from an envelope left at reception in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Same were a generous gift from gardener Ms Mary O’Brien, who had sourced them from Croft 16, latter a partnership set up by Kate and Duncan Donald, who held the national plant collection of pre 1930 daffodils.

Pic (1): Lady Phyllis Moore, wife of Sir Frederick Moore director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.
Pic (2): Narcissus ‘Lady Moore’.

Historical accounts suggest narcissi have been cultivated from the earliest times, and became increasingly popular in Europe after the 16th century. By the late 19th century narcissi were an important commercial crop centred primarily in the Netherlands.

This daffodil was named after Sir Frederick Moore’s wife Phyllis (nee Wilhelmina Phyllis Paul), latter an accomplished horticulturalist in her own right.
Sir Frederick (1857–1949), latter recognized universally as Ireland’s premier horticulturist was, for 43 years, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin and was knighted in 1911, in recognition of his services to horticulture.
His wife, Lady Phyllis Moore, (1878 – 1976), as already stated, was highly regarded as a plants person and keen gardener and indeed there are other plants named after her, e.g. Acanthus spinous ‘Lady Moore’; the Irish snowdrop ‘Galanthus Lady Moore’; – and the pale blue Iris, Iris pallida ‘Lady Moore’, to name just some.

Note: Approximately, 5 only of these rare ‘Lady Moore’ Narcissus bulbs, have been sourced, and will now to go on sale at the home of rare plants, namely O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre, Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as and from 9:00pm tomorrow morning.


Mother Nature Confused In Thurles.

Mother Nature continues to remain somewhat confused here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Pics: G. Willoughby

Berberis (Barberry) (Top Picture Above)
The attractive, easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub Berberis (Barberry) loved for its abundant bright orange flowers, which are normally expected in late March to May, was in bloom yesterday, some 5 months early.
These evergreens shrubs bear small blue-black shaded berries much loved by our feathered friends, (birds).

Primroses (Irish: Sabhaircín) (Bottom Picture Above)
Meanwhile, our dainty and colourful wild primroses (from the Latin word ‘primus’, meaning ‘first’.) which can be found decorating grassy banks, woodlands and roadsides, have not been fooled and appear to be on schedule to bloom in early or mid-December.

Both the flowers and leaves of the Primrose are edible; the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens.

More importantly, Primroses are beneficial as an excellent early source of nectar for bees, as well as an attractive flower to brighten up your outdoor spaces.

Also keep in mind that according to Irish folklore, when primroses are positioned near your front doorway, same protects your home from an unwelcome visit by the fairies. In Ireland, fairies were blamed for stealing babies and children, especially boys with blue eyes and fair hair, leaving fairy substitutes in their place; so do take care. You have been warned.


Mother Nature May Have Lost Her Engagement Book.

The Daffodil [In Irish – Llus an chromchinn – Literal translation- Flower with bent head] is considered one of the most popular heralds of Irish springtime; its flaming yellow or snow white flowers waving from our rural and urban gardens and along the edges of our Irish roads.

Best planted in September, bulbs spend several months developing roots, before usually emerging in late January and early February; flowering between the end of February and on into April.

However, here in Thurles all of that has changed and for the second year in succession, we note that long established clumps of Daffodils have been appearing above ground, since mid-October last.

We also have reports of hellebores in bloom, same not due to show their lovely faces until mid-January.

The bisexual flowers of the Magnolia bush, [latter has both a functional male stamen and a female pistil], named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol, is a much awaited attraction at the beginning of each year. However, here in Thurles same is ready to bloom again for the 2nd time in just 12 months, almost 12 weeks before its correct flowering season.

Perhaps Thurles should host the 28th session of the UN Climate Change Conference [COP], as certainly Mother Nature here in Tipperary is taking an unexpected seasonal course and she appears to have lost her personal organizer or engagement book.


Pheasant’s Tail Grass (Anemanthele lessoniana)

Pheasant’s Tail grass in late September (Anemanthele lessoniana).
Pic. G. Willoughby.

Fast-growing, frost hardy, Pheasant’s Tail grass (Anemanthele lessoniana), which enjoys full sun or partial shade, will provide all year-round colour in your garden, while also offering a certain movement and structure.

Pheasant’s Tail grass enjoys moderately fertile, medium to light, well-drained soil and will form a fountain-like clump of slender colourful foliage; its blades emerging first as healthy, green shoots, before quickly changing to irregular yellow, orange, brown and red streaks.

Like so many other plants, during the colder months of the year, these grass blade colours become much more intense; worthy of beholding especially if planted and viewed in an area, to the fore of where the sun either rises or sets.

An added bonus are the sprays of airy grass flower heads, which will emerge in August/September. It does self-seed, but unwanted plants can easily be removed or simply potted up and given to other lovers of gardening. Seed-heads do provide a winter food source for finches and other seed-eating birds.

In spring, as your garden comes back to life, you can easily tease out any deceased foliage by gently and safely running your fingers through its gentle blades.