Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Look out for foxgloves – tall stately, graceful purple flowers with petals fused into a tube with two lips and dark polka dots, fringed with white that guide long-tongued carder bumble bees in for nectar. Enormous spikes contain drooping bell flowers and fruits at every stage of development. Wind dispersed tiny seeds remain viable for years in soil, from where plants appear when exposed to light if the ground is disturbed. Foxglove is a biennial, spending the first winter as conspicuous rosettes of downy, felted leaves. It needs cold weather for vernalisation to produce tall stout unbranched stems and flowers in their second year. Foxglove is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Bog trotting

Harpist Liz McGill performing at last year’s Clara Bog Trotters Festival.

The Clara Bog Trotters Festival in Offaly takes place the weekend of 20 to 23 June and promises four days of events inspired by the peatland landscape.

Among the highlights are guided walks across the bog, a theatrical re-enactment, workshops, smithing demonstration, films, a Summer Solstice celebration and an open mic session.

The action takes place in Clara House Estate, close to the town and situated on the banks of the Brosna. Events are family-friendly and free, in appreciation of the local peatland landscape and nature.

Organised by the Clara Heritage Society, the Clara Bog Trotters Festival kicks off on 20 June at 6.30pm, with a guided viewing walk of Clara Bog starting from Clara House. On June 21 at 7pm, ‘Living on the Bog’ a theatrical re-enactment of life on the bog takes place on Tony’s Hill.

Quote of the week

Dairy brands must keep innovating to stay relevant to meet consumers’ changing tastes. To fit into their health and wellness agenda, dairy brands can address the health issues related to ageing and bring convenience to younger, time-pressed consumers

- Mintel consultant analyst Caroline Roux.

Number of the week

In Tipperary, 20 families who were former international protection applicants, but have been granted approval to remain in the country are now facing eviction.

Online Pick of the week

This week, the Design and Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) launched its annual Made Local campaign at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI). The DCCI is encouraging retailers to join the Made Local initiative. Over 361 retailers across the country are supporting the Irish design and craft industry by stocking locally-made products.

Picture of the week

Groom to improve! Michelle Shaughnessy from Longford grooming her Highland beauty. \ Submitted by

Michelle Shaughnessy