Pic of the week

Bruno keeping an eye on pilgrims as they complete stage two of St Declan's Way at Trisha and Liam Butler's Glenview Inn, Goatenbridge, Co Tipperary, for details see www.stdeclansway.ie / Caitríona Bolger

Growing wild

Lesser celandine

With Dr Catherine Keena

Teagasc countryside management specialist

Look out for the glossy yellow star-like flowers of lesser celandine, providing a stunning display on hedge banks. Resembling buttercups but with more and narrower petals, these early flowers have now appeared on the heart shaped leaves which were among the first green vegetation to emerge after winter. The shiny flowers reflect the sun to attract pollinators. Bumblebee queens emerging from hibernation need an early supply of pollen and nectar. By early summer there will be no trace of lesser celandine above ground, maintaining its presence underground in fig like tubers. The eye-catching, cheery golden flowers are part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Rural rhymes

Something to crow about

By Paddy Egan

A crow sits cawing on its perch

Ready to build, it’s the first of March

Tradition tells us it’s their chosen date

To build a nest and seek a mate.

At building nests they’re highly skilled

They’ll choose a site where to build

They’ll create a rookery on the highest tree

They’ll work together on a building spree.

The crow is no way musical, just caw-caw,

A noisy community like their cousin Jack daw,

They are by nature a clannish lot

They live in a rookery, a territorial squat.

They weave their nest a work of art

From twigs and brush, a la carte

They gather cipeens and stalks of hay

A quick look round, then on their way.

They’ll hatch a brood, and keep them warm

In their nest secure from rain and storm

Hours in search of food they’ll spend

But they’re certainly not the gardener’s friend.

Home Management Tip

It is possible to reduce the heating bill despite high prices. Turn off the heating in rooms that are not in use. Heat them for short periods occasionally to avoid dampness. If the young adults are in college, turn off the heating during the week. Many heating systems have timers and zones making it easier to only heat where necessary. Turning off and on radiators as the weather changes may seem tedious, but it will keep oil or gas in the tank for longer.

Eliminate draughts by applying draught excluders to external doors. Encourage the whole family to keep doors closed. This is a practical way of keeping the heat in the house.

Quote of the week

"I was ushered in to interview somebody about ‘Irish chicken’; it was only afterwards I realised it was Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s!"

Agriview radio presenter Noel Murphy on his “worst interview” Radio Series

Online pick of the week

Maria Macklin

Tips from a personal stylist and all you need to know if updating your wardrobe this spring.

Number of the week: 90%

of farmers have limited or no understanding of the Fair Deal scheme. See

Fair Deal