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Local gardens with a burst of colour are winners

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Mary Bennett and her dog Max, in her garden at Dr Mannis Road, winner of the Salthill area of the Tidy Towns.

The English poet, Alfred Austin, put it succinctly when he said: ‘Show me your garden, and I shall tell you what you are.’

The Galway Tidy Towns and Garden Competition 2015 recognises just that – those people who are dedicated to creating the best out of their little green patch.

Winners of the ‘Best Lawns’ category, Sean and Margaret Langan, of Castlelawn Heights, are no exception. They say the secret to their success is feeding the lawn well, and giving it extra special attention, of course.

“Sean gets down with a screwdriver and takes out the weeds,” says Margaret. “This year, the weather was so bad that Sean was going to dig it up, but I said: ‘No, just rake out the moss and re-seed it’. It came on great, even better than previous years.”

The bad weather did not derail overall winner, Patrick Mullins from Rockhill Avenue either – he won the ‘Front Garden Competition’ – and says that a variety of colour is the key to his success.

“I never put all the one colour in,” he says. “I have begonias, geraniums, bedding plants…” Retired from London, he spends up to an hour in his garden every day – less of a chore, and more of a hobby – but maybe spent a lot more time this year fixing what the wind and rain had damaged.

It is also a hobby for Carolyn Corless in Highfield, who won recognition in the ‘Window Boxes/Floral Display’ category. When asked how much time she spends in the garden, she says she doesn’t count the hours because she loves it so much. “I potter around the garden in my worst attire, and I’m a ‘divil’ for trying bulbs and seeds,” she says. “I mix and match, I like bright colours, pinks and whites.”

Winner of the ‘Best First Time Entrant’ category, Aideen Hurley, Ballyloughane Road, has been gardening all her life, but started to dedicate more hours to it in the last few years. “I’ve had more time to do it in the evenings,” she says. “It’s quite colourful, I try to have something in flower all the year round.”

Aideen Ward in Knocknacarra, who won the ‘Best Eco Garden’ award, says that her small front patch of green is “friendly for nature.” “I use the natural way of gardening, with no pesticides, and also not to have it too perfect,” she says. “I encourage wildlife with birdfeeders, and one thing will follow the other – no pesticides will encourage wildlife. It’s messy, with lots of natural plants to encourage bees.”

Meanwhile, in the ‘Best Residential Area’ categories, the winners were: Oaklands (20-50 houses), Monivea Park (50-200 houses), and Castlelawn Heights/Ros Na Shí (200 houses+).

Barnacles Hostel was awarded ‘Best Registered Guest House’ while other winners included GMIT, The Ardilaun Hotel, St Mary’s Priory, Western Motors, The Huntsman Inn, Coral Haven Nursing Home, and Hartmann & Sons Ltd.

The ‘Best School Garden’ category was won by SN Bhríde, with Scoil Rois winning the ‘Best Floral Display’.

The ‘Best Community Group Project’ prize went to Circle of Life Garden of Commemoration & Thanksgiving in Salthill.

“Galway City Council would like to commend all entrants for their efforts in enhancing their local area,” a spokesperson said. “The Council acknowledges the amount of work carried out on a voluntary basis throughout Galway City to maintain and enhance the appearance of residential areas and estates.

“Continued support and interest in this local competition, which aims to encourage and promote householders and businesses to take a greater pride and interest in their own gardens, is vital for the further development and enhancement of the appearance of Galway City.

“Galway City Council would like to thank all those that supported the 2015 competition and would encourage more households and businesses to get involved in the Tidy Towns campaign in Galway City.”

Connacht Tribune

Fuel for thought as we try and energise our wheels

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

A good few years back . . . well probably even decades . . . I remember asking quite a knowledgeable motoring correspondent, long gone to his eternal reward, about the pros and cons of staying with petrol or switching to diesel. By the time his reply had finished, nearly 20 minutes had elapsed, and I was avalanched with so much data that I was no wiser at the end of the conversation than I was at the start.

I thought of that a few weeks before Christmas when I happened to tune in to a programme on Channel 4 – Dispatches – which examined the practicalities of owning and driving an electric car across the roads of the United Kingdom.

There is a wish amongst all of us to pursue a more environmentally friendly way of life. At this stage, we all probably know someone who has purchased a fully electric car and certainly many more who have dipped their toes into the waters of the hybrid models.

Anyway, the main theme of the Dispatches programme was that after 10-years of investment by the UK authorities in the infrastructure needed to support electric cars, quite a shocking number of charging points were either out of action or were not working to their full efficiency.

Nearly 10% of the ‘rapid chargers’ sampled across the UK were found not to be working properly, while 30 new ultra-rapid charges were also found to be dysfunctional to varying degrees. Some of the charging points had been out of action for six years and a percentage of those were unrepairable as their technology base was now obsolete.

Apart from their significant extra cost – even if one qualifies for the maximum €5,000 Government grant – the great fear I would have with the electric cars is that I’d find myself marooned in a corner of Kerry or Antrim, out of ‘juice’, and unable to access a charging point.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Best beauty buys to help you shine in 2022

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Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Revive Active, the Galway-based supplement company, have struck again, this time with their new Beauty Complex set which helps you support healthy skin, hair and nails from the inside.  Each easily absorbable powder sachet contains eight active ingredients, including150μg biotin, copper, 7000mg collagen peptides, 100mg hyaluronic acid, 100mg of phytoceramides which help the skin’s barrier, vitamin C and E and selenium.

The ingredient percentages are significant and mean you get real bang for your buck.

The powder eliminates the need for fillers, binders or bulking agents which can affect absorption of the ingredients.

This orange and pineapple flavoured drink is very refreshing. The gift set contains two 30-day packs with an excellent detangling brush and is on sale in health shops and pharmacies for the special promo price of €100, giving a discount of €35.

This is a great way to kick off the New Year. I’ve been taking it for six weeks and while I haven’t found a big difference yet to my rather weak nails, I’ve noticed a huge improvement to my hair, particularly how my hair has kept its colour like never before, extending my red by an extra three to four weeks at least. A real bonus if you’re worried about going to a salon in these Omicron times.

Talking of hair, Wella have a new range of vegan products called WeDo.

Designed to be minimally invasive, using natural ingredients that augment the natural condition of the hair rather than chemically changing it, the sulphate free range is sold in bottles that are at least 75% recycled plastic.

I tried the overnight hair cream and mask, which is particularly good for curly hair and coarse hair. It left one almighty shine and my strands were incredibly soft.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Fresh ways to grow and thrive

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John Casey of Galmere outside the facility in Ballybrit Industrial Estate. PHOTO: IAIN MCDONALD.

Lifestyle – Based in Ballybrit, Galmere produce 13 million portions of food a year, many for retailers and well-known Irish brands. There are also four inhouse brands with products ranging from coleslaw to lentil dahl. Now Galmere are growing basil in Galway all year-round for their fresh pesto as John Casey of the company tells JUDY MURPHY.

It would take a brave person to suggest that growing basil all year round in Ireland might be a good idea.

Basil, the herb that’s normally used in pesto, is mostly associated with Italy, where the warmth and sunlight it loves exist in abundance. Even in summer, Irish weather can be a challenge for it.

But, under certain conditions, it is possible to grow basil year-round in this country. Galway company Galmere Foods started doing just that last year in a ‘vertical digital farm’ at their headquarters in Ballybrit, where it’s now the key ingredient in Pestle + Mortar, their award-winning brand of fresh pesto.

The decision to grow basil here followed extensive research by Galmere, who already make soups, meals and sauces for well-known Irish brands, retailers and private labels as well as for their own four labels.

It’s all done from a 33,000 square foot building in Ballybrit, where 70 people are employed – and a new recruitment drive is underway.

The basil is grown hydroponically under UV lighting, says John Casey who, with his business partner Peter Strange, heads up Galmere. Hydroponics allow crops to grow directly in nutrient-rich water and at Galmere, the temperature is also regulated for this sensitive herb.

“We had been looking at developments in digital farming and in controlling temperatures,” he explains. “It’s an evolution of growing under glass where, as well as providing heat and nutrients, you provide UV light. Light in the right colour is key to growing basil. You can tune it to optimise it for growing plants.”

Low-voltage lighting is used, making it energy-efficient, he adds. And since the basil is grown vertically, on trays which are stacked, “you can grow a lot in a small space”. This all happens in a sealed container with high level of hygiene, eliminating the need for pesticides.

The result is basil that’s fresher and more environmentally friendly than the imported herb.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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