Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Look out for cock’s foot seed heads which are tufted, triangular flowerheads comprising clumps of spikelets. As its name as Gaeilge suggests, garbh fhéar or rough grass becomes coarse and unpalatable after flowering. It does yield well especially early and withstands drought because of its deep roots.

While normally best to let nature take its course and not sow ‘wild’ flowers where ground cover is needed to outcompete problem weeds or invasive alien species, sowing cock’s foot seed is recommended and is sown in arable grass margins in ACRES. Cock’s foot grows in dense tussocks ideal for overwintering spiders and sites for egg laying invertebrates and is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Gardens and galleries

Preparing for Gardens and Galleries in Innishannon is from left to right, Gerry Foley, Alice Taylor, Mary Nolan O'Brien and Peter Fehily.

Innishannon in Co Cork celebrates its 7th Gardens and Galleries event over the weekend of 29 and 30 June.

Beginning at the Parish Hall, your €10 ticket offers access to all the events, details of all the participating venues, and transport to some of the beautiful gardens in outlying areas.

Don’t forget to tour the many varied gardens and exhibitions in the heart of the village either, like for example, the new Linen Garden created to celebrate the local GAA field’s past use as home to a linen industry in years gone by.

There will be history walks of the village, nature walks through Dromkeen Wood, gramophone recitals in Rohu’s Country Market and a mini vintage show.

Quote of the week

We found it the time of the war, in the west side of the bog. ‘Twas a three sod bog. We were cutting away and the next thing we saw this little bit of timber falling out

Number of the week

500,000 people identified as carers countrywide in 2023, according to Family Carers Ireland. Read more about the challenge of balancing care with the needs of the carer

Picture of the week

Three-year-old Paddy Burke just loves watching the JF850 Harvester in action at silage time. \Submitted by Gerard Burke, Co Mayo

Online pick of the week

Paddy Mathews, head of operations for Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands at Fáilte Ireland

Do you have an idea for a regenerative tourism project in the midlands? Don’t forget that 30 June is the closing date to get your proposal in for the Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme.

Co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the EU Just Transition fund, its ambition is to attract more visitors to the midland counties and lengthen their stay by expanding the range of attractions to see and enjoy.

Poetry Corner

Drop a line From Bar Stool Notions of Poetry by Jonathan Roth

“Penny dropped me a line yesterday”

Any news?

No, not much to say

Did you reply?

No, I’m getting some paper today

Where does to “drop a line”

come from?

Many hundreds of years ago

Our forefathers went to the post box

And ‘dropped’ their letters in to go.

Will you drop me a line

when you arrive?

This custom no longer survives.

No more dropping in the mail

Now it’s all WhatsApp and email.

But maybe it is the same

Email versus snail mail

But the pen in the hand is

still the best

As most Elder Lemons will attest.

The lovely weight of the

Montblanc pen

Is the signature of men

The ink flows on the page

To drop a line at any age.